International Anti-Corruption Day 2022
1 December 2022
Important reminders for local authorities on International Anti-Corruption Day
International Anti-Corruption Day (9 December 2022) is organised by the United Nations, and this year celebrates its 20th anniversary. The event highlights the rights and responsibilities we all have to prevent corruption.
Corruption is an umbrella term which covers illegal acts that can affect local authorities, including bribery, money laundering and more.
Raising awareness of these issues amongst staff helps local authorities meet best practice and legislative requirements.
Bribery within the public sector
Bribery is the act of offering, giving, receiving or soliciting of any item of value, to influence the actions of an official (or other person in charge of a public or legal duty). This includes money and also gifts.
Bribes can be offered to gain a personal, commercial, regulatory or contractual advantage – all of which all illegal, even if the bribe doesn’t actually go ahead.
It’s important to have a range of measures in place to detect and prevent bribery, such as a detailed policy and guidance for reporting.
Money laundering involves the movement of money or assets gained criminally in order to conceal, disguise, convert or transfer it. It’s important that public sector organisations are not used by criminals to launder illegally obtained money.
Failure to report money laundering (whether confirmed or just suspected) can also be a criminal offence. Signs to look out for include:
- Large transactions paid in cash
- Reluctance to provide information relating to finances
- Irregular money transfers and transactions
- Transactions paid by third parties
- Repeated transfers or transactions just under £10k
Organisations can face consequences if it’s determined they hadn’t taken adequate preventative steps, such as appointing a Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO).
Reporting suspected corruption
We all have a responsibility to help detect, prevent and report instances of bribery and money laundering.
To report suspected corruption at your organisation, contact your fraud team, whistleblowing contact, or the MLRO if you have one.
Veritau works on behalf of nine local councils plus other public sector organisations. You can report fraud, corruption, or raise a whistleblowing concern on 0800 9179 247.
Support with fraud, corruption, whistleblowing and more
If you work for a public sector body that needs additional support with any of the areas raised in this article, our team of experts can help.