OMSAC or the fight against corruption at the international level
Corruption is a brake on economic and sustainable development. It also promotes the development of criminal and terrorist activities. The poorest populations are the first to be affected by its consequences.
The first universal legal instrument intended to prevent and combat this phenomenon, which entered into force in 2005, was the United Nations Convention against Corruption, known as the Merida Convention. This legal tool encourages States parties to this legal instrument to criminalize and penalize active bribery of national, international and foreign public officials.
This convention also organizes the return of embezzled or laundered assets and the extradition of persons convicted of corruption. The said Convention recognizes the role of civil society in the fight against corruption under its article 13, calling on governments to increase transparency, ensure effective public access to information and also promote public participation in decision-making processes. .
This same convention strengthens the capacity and commitment of civil society, particularly in developing countries, by providing training to NGOs on the Convention and its review mechanism.
It also supports the engagement of civil society during intergovernmental meetings and provides the necessary legal tools so that it can work constructively with governments and the private sector in the implementation of the said Convention. To do this, WHOAC is a global organization committed to fighting corruption and crime around the world.
Its main objective is to provide intelligence and analysis, and to raise awareness through a combination of global pressure tactics.
It is the result of soon six (6) years of consultation and meetings bringing together several national and international organizations and associations with the same objective: the fight against corruption and crime in all its forms and in all areas of the private sector or state.
OMSAC contributes to the prevention of corruption and crime in all sectors of activity and mainly to support whistleblowers, sensitize and engage citizens in the fight against these scourges, enforce relevant international laws and legislation. in the fight against corruption, monitor and follow up on cases of proven corruption.
With the support and effort of these international organizations and associations dedicated to the fight against corruption and crime in the world, the members of OMSAC organized a general assembly on February 10, 2020 in Geneva which resulted in the election of the Algerian Mourad MAZAR, as president for a mandate of 5 years as envisaged by the statutes.
In accordance with the statutes of the organization, the elected president appointed the 8 members of the executive board who will be in charge of the management of the various departments of OMSAC.
The elected president instructed the members of the executive board to get to work with the first objective of setting up the 2020 - 2025 roadmap, the structuring of the OMSAC and the preparation of the first meeting with the international media.
Finally, the President pledged to strengthen anti-corruption surveillance and implement the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).
Rate of corruption and democracy in the world
In first place is Denmark, followed by other strong democratic regimes: New Zealand (2nd), Finland, Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland (tied for 3rd position) or Norway (7th). In contrast, the most corrupt nations are Somalia (180th), Syria and South Sudan (178th), Yemen (177th), North Korea (176th), Sudan, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea and Afghanistan (172nd), Libya and Burundi (170th), Venezuela and Iraq (168th).
The situation in these highly corrupt countries is so bad that their populations are faced with both insecurity, resource shortages, a weak or non-existent state, insufficient infrastructure, a worrying health situation and a poor quality education system. .
Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index report for the year 2018. The darker colors represent the most corrupt countries.
Abuse of power for personal gain
There are many reasons why corruption is so damaging to the democratic system. Usually, when the elites are extremely corrupt, they don't really care about the rest of the population, or even their own country. Indeed, corruption is generally defined as an abuse of power for personal gain.
Corruption breaks the link between collective decision-making and the ability of the people to influence those decisions (normally through their vote and participation). Yet it is this link that defines democracy.
In addition, for a country to be democratic, there must be a minimum of public services. Without an adequate education system, good health and a relatively safe environment, people's participation in political debates is reduced to a minimum.
It is clear that corruption implies a failure of public services as bribes (the most common form of corruption) lead to a misallocation of resources, with decision-makers more concerned with obtaining the bribe. more important than making the best choice. To top it off, corruption increases the cost of public services. As a result, corrupt countries invest less and less and become poorer.
A crumbling of democratic culture
In addition, the rising rate of corruption leads to a deep distrust of the people towards the elites and the government. In a highly corrupt country, the population does not trust its politicians or its officials. If citizens are suspicious or even fearful of their elites, they will not participate in votes, get involved in civil society, or participate in public debates.
As a result, the culture of democracy is crumbling. Finally, the worst-case scenario is the control of the state by the rulers, which can lead to total tyranny. For example, when the people of Venezuela began to call for reforms after years of economic decline and rampant corruption, the reaction of the elites was to imprison opponents, use violence as a means of coercion, and to isolate the country.
Drifts around the world
The last index of perception of corruption should prompt us to pay attention to the dramatic effects of this type of crime on the internal workings of democracies. Besides Venezuela, this kind of worrying drift concerns Guatemala, Turkey, Hungary and even the United States. These cases and many others demonstrate that democracy is a precious gem that must be constantly watched over.
By: Bertrand Venard
Shame on the game of corruption that destroys the name of a country
Break your silence and protest against corruption
People corrupt power
and power corrupts people
Think about improving your nation and avoid corruption
In a democracy, no place
10 tips to prevent corruption risks in your institution
1. Appropriate the anti-corruption approach
The fight against corruption is not simply based on the implementation of criminal rules. All the states fighting against this phenomenon agree on the need to take preventive action and involve civil society. Each institution can indeed act, at its level, to prevent and detect breaches of probity. Any company, administration or association wishing to effectively prevent corruption must design an internal anti-corruption system.
2. Raise awareness at the top of the hierarchy
Preventing corruption does not consist of displaying good intentions but requires the involvement of the top levels of your institution, that is to say the highest summits of the executive and the legislative body. The effectiveness of the system is based on consistency between the actions implemented within the institution and the managerial discourse: action must be taken with words.
3. Map the risks
Describing the work processes within your institution is crucial: ask yourself the right questions. How are recruitments carried out? How did the markets go? How are day-to-day decisions made? For each of the processes identified, you can thus assess the risk of corruption at each stage and adapt your working methods accordingly. For example, a bank that opens a new account can delegate this function to an account manager. But if the client presents a certain level of risk, the decision will be taken to delegate the decision to an agency director or even to a regional management level. Likewise, a community which makes a contract can organize the decision in a collegial manner when a risk is identified.
4. Have a comprehensive approach
Risk mapping should not only be done on a part of your activities. Experience shows that wrongdoing is concentrated in areas where there is no control. Do not give a restrictive signal about the scope of corruption prevention efforts. For example, anti-corruption activity cannot be limited to the internal perimeter of your institution, leaving aside the analysis of relations with third parties (suppliers, etc.).
5. Focus on corruption issues and not just financial issues
It is common practice to adapt the efforts of an institution according to the financial stakes of a particular decision. When it comes to preventing corruption, be vigilant. This stake-based approach must not lead to neglecting actions with a low financial impact, which are sometimes occasions for behavior to be prohibited.
6. Define a mandatory code of conduct
The anti-corruption code of conduct describes the behavior to be observed in risky situations, and specifies the penalties in the event of unauthorized behavior. It should not be just a code of "good conduct", but standards allowing actors to distinguish between desired actions and prohibited actions. In this respect, the code of conduct is an element of the internal regulations of your institution.
7. Set up internal control
If your institution already has internal control or audit tools, the anti-corruption approach can be introduced quite easily as a variation of the work already done, with the aim of controlling corruption risks. If this device does not exist, you can adapt the signature delegation rules according to the issues, or even organize mutual control between the agents. It may also mean submitting to compulsory publication of certain decisions. In all cases, the internal control system must give rise to a regular review by the governing authorities, to adapt anti-corruption actions according to the situations encountered.
8. Implement an internal whistleblower system and protect whistleblowers
The establishment of an effective anti-corruption system considerably reduces the risk of questioning the institution and its leaders. It obviously does not eliminate the risk of the occurrence of isolated acts of corruption against which collective prevention mechanisms can do nothing. To effectively prevent such acts, it is necessary to organize the escalation of alerts through an efficient information circuit and to take all the care necessary for their treatment. People who take the risk of exposing themselves by revealing criminal or risky facts must be protected. The law of December 9, 2016 makes the protection of whistleblowers a requirement.
9. Train staff and managers
Training is an important part of a good anti-corruption framework. Experience shows that knowledge of risky behavior is sometimes insufficient. To save resources, cascade training (training of trainers) which allows the rapid dissemination of good practices can be considered.
10. Request the Modial Anti-Corruption Security Organization
For the implementation of the anti-corruption program, or for the treatment of situations identified in the past, you can receive advice or obtain answers from the World Anti-Corruption Security Organization. The articles of association entrust it with this advisory mission which it can exercise with regard to all persons, public or private, natural or legal. OMSAC stands ready to support actors wishing to design a good anti-corruption system, in order to ensure, for example, the dissemination of good practices.
To go further, you can also self-assess using the questionnaire available on this link from our legal department. Detailed recommendations concerning the different sections of the international anti-corruption system are also available.