The United Kingdom has adopted a new anti- corruption plan with emphasis on preventive measures. It is aimed at stamping out bribery and corruption involving transactions in both the public and private sectors.
The initiative, which is similar to the preventive mechanisms introduced by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) few years ago, focuses on increased cooperation among regulators, public and private establishments with government’s anti- corruption efforts.
Experts have described it as the United Kingdom’s “first effort at pulling together a broad range of resources including government, civil society organisations, law enforcement and other partners to stamp out bribery and corruption.”
The initiative encourages partnerships among law enforcement agencies, public institutions, private firms and other groups to monitor proper compliance with standard ethical conduct in the various sectors, report violations promptly and cooperate fully in investigation.
The new plan which is driven by four cardinal action points namely: Pursue, Prevention, Protect, Prepare, also aims at ensuring that organisations have solid measures in place to prevent bribery and corruption and other financial crimes while those that have a clear anti- bribery and corruption policy will be recognised.
It would be recalled that the ICPC began a drive in this direction few years ago with the establishment of partnerships with Ministries, Departments and Agencies to ensure compliance with ethical conduct in order to prevent corrupt practices or nip them in the bud.
Under the collaboration, many MDAs have undergone system study and review to identify areas of operation prone to corruption and seal the loop holes. These MDAs include the Nigeria Universities Commission, the Nigeria Prisons Service and the National Health Insurance Scheme, among others.
The ICPC currently has a partnership with the Federal Ministry of Aviation under whch several areas of operations at the nation’s airports, fomerly prone to corruption, are being sanitised.
As part of its efforts to forge a concerted fight against corruption, the ICPC also partners with 298 civil society organisations in various sectors. And the Commission has Anti- Corruption units (ACTUs) in the MDAs, National Anti- Corruption Volunteer Corps (NAVC) in the Local Government Areas as well as anti- corruption clubs in schools and tertiary institutions. [myad]