At the maiden gathering of the International Corruption Hunters Alliance, World Bank President Robert Zoellick discussed how the group can help the world make progress in the war against corruption.
The alliance, a network of more than 200 anti-corruption officials from 134 countries, held its first meeting at the World Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C., from Dec. 6 to Dec. 8 to help advance the investigation and prosecution of corrupt actors, including firms and individuals committing fraud in aid-financed activities.
“As corruption becomes increasingly transnational, there needs to be a growing sense of shared responsibility among all stakeholders and a willingness to respond more boldly when confronted with the audacity of corruption,” Zoellick said on Dec. 7 in an address to the meeting.
The World Bank chief said the alliance can help push for more bribery convictions, pursue more multijurisdictional prosecutions, develop new tools to track and return illegal proceeds, increase public awareness on corruption, and monitor and disclose results.
Meantime, U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy said the U.S. government is enacting laws that aim to combat corruption in aid-financed activities such as the law requiring the public disclosure of payments by American companies involved in extractive industries overseas, and the War Profiteering Prevention Act, which would make intentional overbilling under war contracts a federal crime.
“I hope we can commit to work together on corruption enforcement, and to continue to use this Alliance to share information and best practices, because international cooperation can be absolutely essential to successful investigations and prosecutions,” the lawmaker said Dec. 7 in an address to the meeting.