Group of States Against Corruption

The Group of States against Corruption ( French : Group of States against Corruption , GRECO), the Council of Europe ‘s anti- corruption monitoring body icts with Headquarters in Strasbourg (France), Was Established, in 1999 as an enlarged Partial Agreement by 17 Council of Europe member states.

GRECO, which is also open to non-European States, currently has 49 members (48 European States and the United States of America). [1] [2] Since August 2010, all Council of Europe members have been members of GRECO. Membership in GRECO is not limited to Council of Europe member states, any state which has taken part in the elaboration of the enlarged partial agreement, may join by notifying the Secretary General of the Council of Europe. Moreover, any State which becomes Party to Council of Europe’s Criminal Law or Civil Law Conventions on Corruption automatically accedes to GRECO and its evaluation procedures. [1]

The GRECO Secretariat is located in the Council of Europe “Agora” building completed in 2008.

Purpose

GRECO’s objective is to Improve the capacity of ict members to fight corruption by monitoring Their compliance with Council of Europe anti-corruption standards through a dynamic process of mutual assessment and peer pressure. It helps to identify deficiencies in national anti-corruption policies, with a view to prompting the necessary legislative, institutional and practical reforms. GRECO does not have a mandate to measure the occurrence of corrupt practices in its individual member States. Other organizations are more likely to deal with this important matter. A well-known example is Transparency International (TI), which issues annually a Corruption Perceptions Index(CPI) – ranking more than 150 countries according to Global Corruption Barometer and Bribe Payers Index .

The OECD , the United Nations , ICPO-Interpol , the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the World Bank were associated with the preparatory work leading to the establishment of GRECO. The need for efficient monitoring mechanisms in this area is largely accepted by those organizations which contributed to the discussions held under the aegis of the Council of Europe, which eventually led to the establishment of GRECO.

GRECO monitoring included an evaluation procedure based largely on the information gathered via questionnaires and on-site visits and a compliance procedure designed to assess the measures taken by its members to implement the recommendations emanating from GRECO’s evaluations. On-site visits include meeting with numerous interlocutors, government officials, civil society representatives, academics and etc.

Topics and provisions subject to mutual evaluation

The themes and provisions to be evaluated in GRECO. [3] GRECO within a period of 18 months. The ensuing compliance procedure assesses the implementation of each individual recommendation and establishes an overall appraisal of the level of a member’s compliance.

GRECO’s First Evaluation Round (2000-2002), with special provisions of the Twenty Guiding Principles for the Fight against Corruption: independence, specialization, means and resources of national causes in the prevention and fight against corruption, and the extent and scope of immunities Sincerely, certain categories of representatives of the public and / or elected representatives in respect of the investigation, prosecution and adjudication of bribery. [4]

The Second Round Evaluation (2003-2006) Dealt with themes based one specific provisions of the Twenty Guiding Principles and associated provisions of the Criminal Law Convention is Corruption (ETS 173): identification, seizure and confiscation of corruption Proceeds, anti-corruption policies and Mechanisms in public administration, prevention of legal persons being white used as shields for corruption, tax and financial legislation to counter corruption, links entre corruption, Organized crime and money laundering. [4]

Any member HAVING joined GRECO partner after the close of the First Evaluation Round (ie as from 2003) is subject to a valuation ring of the First and Second Round topics.

The ongoing Third Evaluation Round (launched on 1 January 2007) covers two distinct fields, namely [4]

  • The Criminal Law Convention on Corruption (ETS 173);
  • the transparency of party funding as Understood by reference to Several items of Recommendation Rec (2003) 4 on Common Rules against Corruption in the Funding of Political Parties and Electoral Campaigns, and – more Generally – to Guiding Principle 15 (ie “to encourage the adoption , by Elected Representatives, of codes of conduct and Promote rules for the financing of political party and election campaigns qui deter corruption “), as laid down in the Twenty Guiding Principles for the Fight against corruption.

GRECO’s current Fourth Evaluation Round, launched on January 1, 2012, deals with corruption in respect of members of parliament, judges and prosecutors. The same priority issues are addressed in respect of all persons / functions under review, namely:

  • ethical principles, rules of conduct and conflicts of interest;
  • prohibition or restriction of certain activities;
  • declaration of assets, income, liabilities and interests;
  • enforcement of the applicable rules;
  • awareness.

As regards parliamentary assemblies, the evaluation focuses on the members of the National Parliaments, including all chambers of Parliament and irrespective of whether the members of Parliament are appointed or elected. Concerning the judiciary and other actors in the pre-judicial and judicial process, the evaluation focuses on prosecutors and judges, both professional and lay judges, regardless of the type of court in which they sit, who are subject to national laws and regulations.

GRECO launched on the 20 th of March its Fifth Evaluation Round which will focus on “Preventing corruption and promoting integrity in central governments (top executive functions) and law enforcement agencies”. [5] In the new evaluation round, GRECO will monitor the measures that States have in place to prevent and combat corruption in these functions of State, heads of central government, members of central government (eg ministers), as well other deputy ministers, State Secretaries, heads and members of a private and senior political officials. [5]With regard to these functions, GRECO will look into issues such as conflicts of interest, revolving doors, reporting of assets and accountability mechanisms. [5]

Practicalities of GRECO evaluations

At the opening of each Evaluation Round, GRECO adopts questionnaires with guidelines and a provisional time-table for evaluations. Members designate a maximum of five evaluators for any given Evaluation Round. The profile of evaluators is determined by the thematic scope of each Evaluation Round. The main stages of the evaluation are described in the table below.

Process evaluation
STEP 1 A first analysis of the situation in a Member State is carried out by the Secretariat on the basis of replies to the questionnaires.
STEP 2 An Evaluation Team, supported by a member of the Secretariat, carried out an on-site evaluation (up to 5 days), where further information is gathered through high-level discussions with key domestic players; the visit also includes talks with representatives of civil society (NGO’s, media, professional organizations, etc.).
STEP 3 The members of the Evaluation Team submit their individual contributions to the draft Evaluation Report, including proposals for recommendations, and the first draft of the Evaluation Report prepared by the Secretariat and submitted to the Evaluation Team for comments.
STEP 4 A second draft is then drawn up by the Secretariat and sent to the member undergoing evaluation for comments.
STEP 5 The Secretariat consults the Evaluation Team on the comments made by the member. If the views of the evaluators differ, a solution is negotiated; if necessary, a coordination meeting between national representatives, the Evaluation Team and the Secretariat is arranged.
STEP 6 A third draft is then sent to GRECO members.
STEP 7 Draft evaluation reports are examined by GRECO during its plenary meetings and a revised draft resolution is required for the second reading before adoption by the plenary.
STEP 8 Adopted reports are published with the authorization of the country concerned.

Overall, the various stages of the compliance procedure are similar to the above. The report is prepared by the member concerned, which has been submitted 18 months after the adoption of the relevant Evaluation Report. On the basis of the Situation Report, a Compliance Report is prepared which assesses the level of implementation of GRECO in the Evaluation Report. The assessment can lead to three possible conclusions, namely that a given recommendation

  • has been implemented satisfactorily or otherwise dealt with in a satisfactory manner;
  • has been used implemented;
  • has not been implemented.

Members are required to report back to GRECO on the action taken in order to address or not-implemented recommendations within another 18 months. The additional information is submitted by GRECO and leads to the adoption of the Addendum to the Compliance Compliance Report. The adoption of the Addendum usually terminates the compliance procedure in respect of the country concerned.

All information pertaining to evaluation and compliance procedures is confidential. However, it is standard practice for members to authorize the publication of Evaluation and Compliance Reports, usually shortly after their adoption by the plenary.

The reports, Compliance Reports and Addenda to Compliance Reports, on the First, Second, Third and Fourth Evaluation Rounds are made available on-line in the public part of GRECO’s website State concerned.

Particular strengths of the GRECO process

The experience gathered in the GRECO process suggests that, ideally, assessments should be limited in scope, with clear decisions being taken to the relevance of certain topics and sub-topics; key questions need to be carefully phrased. Evaluations should also be based on clear and identifiable standards.

One of the most important lessons learned by GRECO, throughout its years of operation, is that the collection of first-hand information during on-site evaluation visits (a fundamental feature of GRECO’s modus operandi) is significantly more important to the quality of evaluations. On-site visits are a major asset for the credibility of the whole process in which they enable evaluation teams to hold discussions with domestic key players, and to request additional information on-the-spot light on often blurred and contentious issues.

On-site visits also have the potential of adding value to the “mother” evaluation of legislation. The ensuing jurisprudence of the United States, the ensuing jurisprudence, the ensuing jurisprudence, the issue of breach of duty, opportunity to discuss these matters with domestic practitioners.

References

  1. ^ Jump up to:b “What is GRECO?” . www.coe.int . Retrieved 2017-08-28 .
  2. Jump up^ “Members and Observers / Member States and Observers” . www.coe.int . Retrieved 2017-08-28 .
  3. Jump up^ What are the ratings of the GRECO?
  4. ^ Jump up to:c GRECO Ratings
  5. ^ Jump up to:c “New Round GRECO Evaluation lancé: Preventing corruption in central gouvernements and law enforcement agencies” . Group of States against Corruption . Retrieved 2017-03-23 .

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