U.S. Calls for Increased Support for OCCRP's Global Anti-Corruption Consortium
The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) welcomes U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s call today for increased global support for the Global Anti-Corruption Consortium (GACC).
The GACC brings together investigative journalism and civil society advocacy to create greater impact in the fight against corruption. Led by OCCRP together with Transparency International (TI), it was launched in 2016 and is currently supported by the governments of Denmark, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as the Open Society Foundations.
Through the GACC, OCCRP has exposed money-for-influence scandals, how corrupt officials have exploited public resources for personal gain, and global money-laundering vehicles across five continents. With this evidence in hand, TI has effectively advocated for change at the highest levels of government and multilateral bodies, brought legal action, and pushed for meaningful reforms to combat corruption. To take just one example of the GACC model in action, after OCCRP’s 2017 Azerbaijani Laundromat project exposed a $2.9-billion money laundering operation that benefited Azerbaijan’s authoritarian rulers, TI advocacy led to high-level resignations, the launch of an official investigation, nearly $200 million in bank fines and penalties, and one significant bank branch closure.
A recent external evaluation found hundreds of examples of real-world impact in the initiative’s first four years alone. “With this model, we’ve seen impact from our stories in parts of the world we never thought possible. What started as a proof of concept has delivered serious results, showing the public that change is possible,” said OCCRP Co-Founder Paul Radu.
Today’s announcement was made during the Summit for Democracy, which brought together leaders across governments, civil society, and the private sector to set an agenda for global democratic renewal. Held on December 9 and 10, 2021, the summit kicks off a “year of action” that asks participants to invest in initiatives that will make democracies more resilient. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken committed increased U.S. government support for GACC and called on others to provide an additional $10 million in funding over the next year to help the consortium take its work to the next level.
These funds — combined with funding from the private sector — would provide an opportunity to build on the GACC’s tested model and to partner with additional media and civil society to maximize impact in tackling corruption, often fueled by organized crime.
“The Global Anti-Corruption Consortium is a unique global mechanism for the public good that deserves global backing,” said OCCRP Chief of Global Partnerships and Policy Camille Eiss. “We look forward to ramping up results and doing more to ensure they add up to systemic change.”
FOR PRESS INQUIRIES OR INFORMATION ABOUT CONTRIBUTING TO OR PARTNERING WITH THE GACC, PLEASE CONTACT: GACC Director Uri Blau at firstname.lastname@example.org.