This handbook provides the 57 OSCE participating States and 11 Partners for Co-operation with a reference guide on available legal tools, the latest legislative and policy trends, and pertinent measures and practices to prevent and suppress corruption. It is aimed at raising awareness of the range of international instruments available to national policymakers and anti-corruption practitioners, and assisting them in developing and implementing effective anti-corruption policies and measures, thereby reducing the possibilities for corruption, instability and transnational crime.
The handbook is produced by the OSCE in collaboration with UNODC, OECD and GRECO and other partners.
The Handbook is expected to contribute to further political dialogue, exchange of knowledge and good practices as well as strengthen international cooperation among policymakers, practitioners and experts in the OSCE region and beyond. It is envisaged that the publication will also be used for practical, tailormade training seminars at regional and national levels in the OSCE region in the coming years.
The first part of the Handbook presents the main international anti-corruption conventions, non-legally binding regional and international initiatives. It also addresses the development and implementation of anticorruption strategies, and the creation and functioning of anti-corruption bodies. It emphasizes the importance, in the overall context of combating corruption, of building public sector integrity. Key legal instruments that guide many OSCE participating States, such as the United Nations Convention against Corruption, the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Officials in International Business Transactions, and the Council of Europe’s Criminal Law Convention on Corruption and the Civil Law Convention on Corruption, receive particular attention.
The second part outlines various prevention measures: the promotion of codes of conduct, addressing conflict of interest situations, establishing proper management of financial resources in the public sector, and creating an efficient and effective public procurement system. It also explores ways to ensure transparency and accountability in political party funding, and how to regulate lobbying activities. In view of the limited standards on lobbying available at the international level, a series of regional (EU) and national examples of regulating lobbying is provided to the reader.
The next part of the Handbook looks at the various anti-corruption actors: ‘whistleblowers’, civil society, the private sector, the media, and the judiciary. This part stresses the fundamental principle of employing a multistakeholder approach towards combating corruption as it provides for more oversight and reporting channels, and reduces the opportunities and inclinations for corrupt activity. It demonstrates that the media is particularly capable of being a counter-force to corruption through its watchdog and informative functions. Further, it elaborates on preventing corruption within the judiciary, which is of vital importance for maintaining the rule of law and providing access to justice.
In the following part, the Handbook discusses criminalization of corruption-related offences, focusing on the offence of bribery in particular. It then explains how to safeguard human rights, including the right to privacy, in anti-corruption investigations. The Handbook goes on to outline the regional and international framework on Mutual Legal Assistance as well as to present concrete examples of inter-state co-operation, such as the European Evidence Warrant. It also explores extradition arrangements and procedures. Finally, the Handbook provides an overview of anti-money laundering regimes and processes – underlining the key role of the Financial Action Task Force Recommendations; describes practices to mitigate the money laundering risks associated with corrupt officials; and examines the legal bases and international co-operation mechanisms for the confiscation and return of illicit assets.