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Programme Papers from the 9th IACC
past IACCs



The 9th International Anti-Corruption Conference

The Papers

Abstracts of presentations

Day 4, Workshop 2

Abed, George T. / Allan, William :
The Imf's Role in Promoting Transparency

The IMF's interest in transparency and standards arises from their potentially important contribution to a more robust international financial system and, at the national level, to improved macroeconomic performance. In this regard, the IMF has promoted transparency and openness in its own operations while encouraging member countries to adopt standards and best practices in its four core areas of interest: economic and financial statistics, fiscal operations, monetary and financial policy, and banking supervision. The IMF carries out this function in the context of its unique role in surveillance but also in connection with its programs of technical and financial assistance to members. The IMF also collaborates closely with other international financial institutions and standards setting bodies to promote transparency and standards, thereby helping to foster good governance and curb corruption.

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Borge, Magnus :
The role of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) in Combating Corruption

The XVI INCOSAI (International Congress of Supreme Audit Institutions), Uruguay November 1998, dealt with the role of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) in Preventing and Detecting Fraud and Corruption. There was consensus that corruption has surfaced in all forms of government. Moreover, it occurs not only in government but also in all spheres of society. The INCOSAI delegates acknowledged that corruption in government results in waste of resources and reduces economic growth and the quality of life, and it undermines government credibility and reduces its effectiveness.

In general, it was considered that the socio-economic environment of the population cannot be ignored when analysing and dealing with corruption, since social injustice, poverty, and violence are often linked to corruption, which makes it virtually impossible to isolate corruption as a separate problem.

It is INTOSAI's hope that SAIs can, through concerted action, play a role in promoting a culture that rejects waste and values honesty, responsibility, and the rational utilisation of economic wealth. The fight against fraud and corruption should be presented as a long-term national effort that must be sustainable; it is not feasible to promise unrealistic progress in a short period of time.

INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI) is an important instrument for the development of more professional and efficient SAIs in developing countries.

The paper is accompanies by a power point presentation which lists a series of recommendations.

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Fakie, Shaukat :
The Role of the Office of the Auditor-General in South Africa

The Office of the Auditor-General, as one of the institutions that strengthen constitutional democracy in South Africa, has a very distinctive role to play in the prevention, detection and investigation of economic crime. In this regard the Office follows a proactive approach aimed at preventing economic crime by promoting an overall fraud awareness culture in the public sector, and a reactive approach focused on the investigation of allegations of economic crime, which are confirmed or refuted by collecting and submitting substantive evidence.

The Office also acknowledges the role of other stakeholders. Therefore it is entering into an agreement with other anti- corruption entities soon with a view to coordinating the investigation of matters where there is a possibility of duplication or overlapping action.

Furthermore, the Office is playing an active role in supporting existing initiatives and programmes that are aimed at combating economic crime. In this regard it participated in the National Anti-Corruption Summit, held in April 1999, which also emphasised the need for mutual support and working together with government to communicate a national integrity strategy. Resolutions to combat and prevent corruption, as well as to build integrity and raise awareness, were taken as the basis of a national strategy to fight corruption.

Finally, the Office's strategy is also in line with recommendations that followed from discussions in Montevideo at the International Congress of Supreme Audit Institutions (INCOSAI) in November 1998, in that it publishes audit reports to increase public awareness, advises auditees on how to safeguard their accounting systems against unlawful manipulations, and promotes the establishment of efficient and effective internal controls.

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Folscher, Alta :
Fiscal Transparency and Participation in the Budget Process: South Africa, a Country Report

The Budget Information Service of the Institute for Democracy in South Africa and the International Budget Project of the Centre for Budget and Policy Priorities based in Washington, D.C. have undertaken this report on transparency and participation in South Africa's budget process. The report may serve as an approach that would be of use to researchers in other countries who are interested in assessing how the IMF Code of Fiscal Transparency and other principles of transparency and participation could help inform and improve the budget process in their nations. The report borrows from, modifies, and adds to the IMF Code of Fiscal Transparency by emphasising the measures needed to facilitate effective participation by the legislature and civil society. The report describes in detail the need for: a) a legal framework for Fiscal Transparency; b) clarity of roles and responsibilities in practice; c) the public availability of information; d) independent Checks and Balances on the Budget; e) information on execution and Government Data. It also traces the exact budget decision making process. An executive summary is also provided.

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Petrie, Murrray :
The IMF Fiscal Transparency Code

Fiscal policy - that is, government spending and revenue collection - is at the core of the exercise of government power, and is the source of much corruption. By any measure it should be regarded as a vital component of a national integrity system. Government budgeting has traditionally, however, been shrouded in secrecy, an environment in which corruption flourishes. The IMF's Fiscal Transparency Code and supporting material offer a potentially powerful new tool in the fight against corruption. The Code aims to strengthen accountability by building an integrity system based around strong domestic institutions. It is a public good available to civil society. Its impact will be maximised if civil society uses it to assess country performance, and to press governments to be more open and transparent in the way they conduct fiscal policy. Already a South African NGO, in co-operation with a US NGO, has used the Code to produce an assessment of fiscal transparency and participation in South Africa. Networking between civil society organisations appears a highly promising avenue for using the Code to achieve a sustainable reduction in corruption.

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Speck, Bruno Wilhelm :
The Federal Court of Audit in Brazil: Institutional Arrangements and its Role in Preventing Fraud and Abuse of Public Resources

The paper is part of ongoing research on the institutional arrangements and role of the Brazilian Federal Court of Account (Tribunal de Contas da União) within Brazilian politics. The author asks why the external and internal control institutions intended to prevent misuse of public funds and identify those responsible have not succeeded in preventing several cases of grand corruption. While institutions of control have a long history, there has been very little academic research on them. This may be because they do not fit into the model of division of powers; the TCU may act similarly to the executive, the legislation and the judiciary. The paper finally makes recommendations on possible reform priorities for the TCU.

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