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The UK Government Anti-Corruption Plan

January 11th, 2015 - Posted by Tom Farrar in Anti-Bribery And Corruption

The purpose of the anti-corruption plan is threefold:

  1. to demonstrate the breadth of the UK's current anti-corruption activities;
  2. to set out clearly the actions that government will take to tackle corruption in the UK; and
  3. to set out priorities for raising international standards and leading the global fight against corruption in all its forms.

As discussed in the plan, it seems a shame that the new offence of 'Police Corruption' isn't wider in scope when you consider the cash for influence/honours/questions political scandals we seen in the last several years that have led to very little criminal prosecution. Perhaps instead a more encompassing 'corruption in a public office' offence, built on the existing laws around misconduct in a public office, would have been a stronger deterrent against corruption in all public offices.

The strengthening of National Security Vetting is also an interesting area. ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) published in 2010 its vetting policy which sees Police Forces in England and Wales bolstering existing NSV (National Security Vetting) checks against its officers and staff with its own vetting - RV (Recruitment Vetting) for any Police Officers or staff and MV (Management Vetting) for more sensitive roles. The main factor behind ACPO publishing this policy was to address a problem they identified with NSV's scope, in that it mainly protects sensitive government assets rather than sensitive criminal and financial intelligence and assets. Comparing the ACPO MV to NSV SC (Security Check), both typical vetting levels for access to SECRET material, questions around personal finance are more in-depth on the MV vetting than they are on the SC vetting, which simply consist of a credit check. As of November 2014 the College of Policing will now be further building on this ACPO policy.

It seems some of the points in this plan have already been long identified, certainly ACPO acted 5 years ago to mitigate NSV's limited scope outside of protecting government assets and its lack of more in-depth financial checks at lower vetting levels, and because of this it feels fairly retrospective in areas.

Read more

UK Anti-Corruption Plan: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/388894/UKantiCorruptionPlan.pdf

ACPO Vetting Policy: http://www.acpo.police.uk/documents/workforce/2010/201008WDNVP01.pdf

Most of the themes in the anti-corruption plan have been around some time and the document serves to remind everyone how seriously the UK government is taking these issues. It would help if they start to deliver on Bribery Act enforcement to reinforce this further.

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End notes

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