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New IFAC anti-corruption plan welcomed

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 06 Sep 2022

IFAC’s Action Plan for Fighting Corruption and Economic Crime outlines the global profession’s approach to fighting corruption, working across all sectors.

ICAEW has strongly welcomed the publication of the new International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) Action Plan for Fighting Corruption and Economic Crime, stating the belief that accountants play a crucial role in the fight against economic crime. 

The accountancy sector in the UK has played an integral part in the first Economic Crime Plan. Representatives from the sector now sit on the Public Private Operational Board; the Money Laundering and Fraud Public/Private Partnership Groups; and work with various cells established by the National Crime Agency. 

ICAEW notes that the UK SARs Accountancy Engagement group is well attended, and the interaction between the UKFIU and the largest firms is considered effective and productive. 

“We’re pleased to support IFAC’s anti-corruption plan which sets out specific actions for accountancy bodies to take in relation to tackling corruption and economic crime,” says David Gomez, ICAEW’s Senior Lead, Ethics. “At ICAEW, we’re continuing to engage with government on economic crime and corporate transparency, while we’re also ensuring our members are aware of these issues as part of their CPD”.

IFAC’s action plan harnesses the profession’s reach across public practice, business, and the public sector to both contribute directly to the fight against corruption. It also outlines indirect action, by supporting integrity and transparency in business and government, as well as effective global and domestic policymaking.

The plan has five pillars:

  • harnessing the full potential of education and professional development;
  • supporting global standards;
  • contributing towards evidence-based policymaking;
  • strengthening impact through engagement and public partnership; and
  • contributing expertise through thought leadership and advocacy.

In relation to the first pillar of the plan, ICAEW’s forthcoming introduction of mandatory ethics CPD training for members will include a module on economic crime. 

ICAEW has engaged constructively with the UK Government on proposals for the content of the forthcoming Economic Crime Plan v.2.0, including advocating for the need to ensure a level playing field in relation to the rise of unregulated ‘concierge services’.

It also supports Companies House verification and transparency reforms and continues to engage with the UK Government in relation to proposals to increase transparency and information exchange within the sector and measures to be included in the Corporate Transparency Bill.

“Increased transparency measures, appropriate funding and resources for law enforcement agencies are vital to combat corruption, and so we will continue to work with international accountancy bodies, politicians and regulators to tackle these crimes,” says Gomez. 

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