At the invitation of the OECD, the WCO participated in the OECD’s Global Anti-Corruption & Integrity Forum held on 27-28 March 2018 in Paris at its Headquarters.
The opening ceremony of the Global Forum was attended and contributed by the Prime Ministers of Norway and Iceland, the Vice-President of Argentina, the First Vice-President of the European Commission and the Secretary General of the OECD.
The theme of the global forum was “Planet Integrity: Building a Fairer Society”. The Forum debated on the impact of integrity on business, how it reduced socio-economic inequalities, and made public policies more effective. Discussions also concentrated on the governance of globalization and its crucial role in fighting against corruption and unethical practices in areas such as trade, competition, infrastructure, development co-operation, and revenue collection.
WCO Capacity Building Director, Ernani Checcucci participated as a panelist at the Forum’s panel session on “Integrity & Trade: No Need to Grease the Wheels” bringing the WCO perspective on trade performance, trade facilitation and integrity.
During the panel session the OECD presented preliminary findings on measuring countries’ trade facilitation performance using the OECD Trade Facilitation Indicators. These findings were based on perception and experiential data to map border-related corruption and better understand the links between the trade facilitation policy environment and integrity. One of the main findings was the positive relationship between integrity and transparency.
WCO Director of Capacity building argued that transparency plays indeed a crucial role in trade facilitation. However, there are some other factors that could explain the different impacts of trade facilitation measures on the incidence of corruption, which assist for secure business environment and should be developed in customs and other border agencies:
- Strong capacity in internal control and its relationship with external control;
- Human resources management (e.g., professionalization of workforce, higher standards for recruitment process etc.);
- Performance management;
- Strong leadership and political commitment.
There is also a need to capture not only Customs in terms of measuring trade facilitation performance, but also the other border agencies and key stakeholders of the supply chain such as immigrations and border control, customs brokers, logistics operators, port administrations and many others. Other panelists and participants of the session agreed on the need of applying the Collective action concept and advised this as to go forward with research on this area.
On the margins of the Forum, the WCO delegation also held a special meeting with the OECD Public Sector Integrity division and Trade and Agriculture Directorate representatives to discuss the potential advancement of technical cooperation in the area of Integrity development.