06 / 10 / 2020
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and development

After the Council of Europe and the Financial Action Task Force, the OECD has also published a policy brief on strengthening public integrity during the Covid-19 crisis. The guidelines assess the main risks associated with the health context (corruption, fraud, price gouging, irregularities in public procurement, etc.) and set out short- and long-term measures to address them, with a particular focus on procurement strategies, the resources allocated to internal auditing and integrity strategies in public organisations. (OECD, 19 April 2020)

European Union
  • European Parliament

The transparency of European institutions is still high on the agenda despite the attention being devoted to the Covid-19 crisis. According to the news platform Contexte, talks on the lobby register are set to resume on 16 June, the date envisaged by the negotiators of the European Parliament, Commission and Council. Aimed at extending to the Council’s rotating presidencies the obligation to only meet lobbyists on the register, these talks were finally called off in 2019 after a long period of deadlock. (Contexte, 29 May 2020)

  • Council of the European Union

The Council of the European Union (EU) is poised to draw up guidance on the use of private sponsors by rotating presidencies after widespread criticism, particularly levelled against Croatia, about companies that pay money or provide services to States while they are holding the Council presidency. The 27 EU ambassadors reached an agreement in early May to include a specific text on this issue in the manual handed out to each capital ahead of its presidency. Contrary to the European Ombudsman’s initial proposals, the recommendations set out are not binding. France, Spain and the Czech Republic still have misgivings, however: Paris, in particular, has contended that the choice of whether or not to accept sponsorship is a matter for each capital. (Contexte, 5 May 2020) (EuObserver, 29 May 2020)

  • European Ombudsman

Following an inquiry, based on a complaint, the European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly has found that the European Banking Authority (EBA) should not have allowed its former Executive Director to become CEO of the Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME). The Ombudsman also concluded that the EBA did not immediately set up sufficient internal safeguards to protect its confidential information when the planned move was confirmed. According to her, “This case involved the Executive Director of an EU agency, which is tasked with devising rules to regulate and supervise European banks, moving to a lobby group that represents the wholesale financial sector. This group quite obviously wishes to influence the drafting of those rules in its members favour. If this move did not justify using the legal option, provided under EU law, to forbid someone from moving to such a role, then no move would.” (European Ombudsman, 11 May 2020)

African Development Bank

A « Group of Concerned Staff Members of the African Development Bank (AfDB) » has alleged that its President, Akinwunmi Adesina, used the bank’s resources for self-promotion and personal gain. Adesina is also accused of paying out disproportionate severance packages to AfDB staff who resigned mysteriously, and favouring his fellow Nigerians. These claims have sparked heated debates. Whereas the institution’s Ethics Committee conducted an investigation and declared that Mr Adesina was « totally exonerated of all allegations made against him », US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has signed a letter to the Board rejecting the findings of this internal investigation. (Le Monde, 9 May 2020) (BBC, 30 May 2020)