In 2013 Transparency International UK called for the UK Government to produce a world class anti-corruption strategy. In 2014 the Government published its Anti-Corruption Plan; it was not perfect, but was a very credible attempt to bring together existing activities within a more coherent framework, set timetables and take ownership of an issues that other governments have ignored.
Without an over-arching anti-corruption strategy there was no discernible long term vision or goal to which the Plan was contributing or view of what a coordinated government approach to corruption would look like. And since the Summit, there have been a number of occasions – whether MPs taking second (or third) jobs, the introduction of a new anti-money laundering watchdog, or repeated revelations on the UK’s role in facilitating global corruption – which an Anti-Corruption Strategy would have given the public clarity on the Government’s attitude to certain issues.
WHAT HAPPENED AT THE SUMMIT?
At the Anti-Corruption Summit, the UK Government pledged to “develop a cross-government Anti-Corruption Strategy by the end of 2016, which will set out our long-term vision for tackling corruption, including how we will implement the [Summit] commitments”
WHAT HAS HAPPENED SINCE?
In line with the Strategy commitments to publish updates on the gov.uk website, and provide an annual written update to Parliament, the Government published its UK Anti-Corruption Strategy: 1 Year Update in December 2018, complete with a ‘RAG’ chart classifying commitments according to the Government’s progress against them.
The Government was due to publish its annual written update on progress made under the Strategy in December 2019, but publication was halted due to a general election being called. As of July 2020 the update has not been published.