The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed inadequate transparency frameworks, allowing for public funds to be diverted and stolen.

In this context, the UNCAC Coalition and Access Info Europe hosted a Knowledge Partner session at the virtual 2021 OECD Global Anti-Corruption & Integrity Forum  under the title “Transparency to Fight Corruption in Post-Pandemic Development”.

The online event featured the participation of:

  • Alfredo Durante Mangoni, Chair G20 ACWG, Coordinator for Anti-Corruption at the Italian Foreign Ministry
  • Anamarija Musa, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb and from 2013-2018 Croatian Information Commissioner
  • Antonio Baquero Iglesias, European Editor for the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and lead reporter on OpenLux
  • Helen Darbishire, Executive Director of Access Info Europe and Chair of the UNCAC Coalition
  • Moderator: Mathias Huter, Managing Director, UNCAC Coalition

Speakers discussed the pressing need to advance transparency of company ownership and public contracting, and to protect the right of access to information. The discussion highlighted the compelling benefits of information being available to the public, and the necessity of open data if journalists and civil society groups are to follow financial flows, detect irregularities, investigate corruption, and hold perpetrators to account.

The time to advance transparency globally is now: the UN General Assembly will hold its first-ever Special Session against corruption in June; Implementation of the transparency provisions of the UN Convention against Corruption leaves much to be desired. While member countries of the Open Government Partnership have committed to multiple transparency reforms, many have yet to deliver on the specific transparency and open data needed to root out corruption.