UN Agency Unveils Anti-Corruption Database
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) unveiled a new web portal on Thursday to facilitate asset recovery of corrupt despots and businessmen. TRACK (Tools and Resources for Anti-Corruption Knowledge) features a database of anti-corruption legislation from 175 countries in addition to resources for practitioners.
The database includes legislation and jurisprudence of the 154 state parties to the UN Convention against Corruption, a document ratified in 2003 that sets out global standards of transparency.
The database is timely as investigations into asset recovery of regimes toppled during the recent political upheaval of Arab Spring are underway. The web portal is intended as a resource for countries seeking to design or redesign corruption legislation to facilitate stolen asset recovery.
“The legal library, which will be regularly updated, identifies laws that have been successfully used to recover assets as well as barriers to asset recovery caused by inadequate or incompatible legal frameworks,” said the UNODC and World Bank in a joint press release.
TRACK is meant to combine legal knowledge with global expertise via forums and message boards where anti-corruption officials can offer experience and practical know-how.
One of UNODC’s goals is creating a “global community of practitioners,” a part of the site exclusive to anti-corruption officials like prosecutors and investigators, where they can communicate individually or share best practices with regional or global groups.
Microsoft Corporation developed the technological blueprint of the portal pro bono, marking “another example of the growing role of the private sector in the fight against corruption,” according to the UNODC’s website.
The new web portal also features educational modules featuring analytical tools and benchmarks from partner organizations, which include the African and Asian Development Banks, the Council of Europe's Group of States against Corruption, the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute, and the joint UNODC and World Bank Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative.