MEASURING OECD RESPONSES TO ILLICIT FINANCIAL FLOWS FROM DEVELOPING COUNTRIES -
© OECD 2013
THE ISSUE OF ILLICIT FINANCIAL FLOWS IFFS
is at the forefront of the international agenda. Governments worldwide are joining forces to combat money laundering, tax evasion and international bribery, which make up the bulk of IFFs. Although the exact scale of the problem is unknown, IFFs have devastating eﬀects on developing countries. Instead of attempting to quantify precisely what is by deﬁnition a hidden activity, now is the time to determine where public funds should best be targeted to make the most impact. The G8 and G20 are urging countries to take action on several fronts: strengthening their anti-money laundering regimes, enforcing greater transparency of company ownership, and supporting eﬀorts to trace, freeze and recover stolen assets. They are also committed to automatic exchange of information to tackle tax evasion. And given the interconnected-ness of our economies, global compliance is required to tackle many of today’s challenges. Governments are committed to taking action on these issues by ratifying existing global standards and by being active members of relevant administering bodies.
Measuring OECD Responses to Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries
is the ﬁrst report to measure how well countries are performing in their ﬁght against IFFs. It draws on public data describing the situation in these policy areas and the role of donor agencies. The report is a key output of the OECD Strategy on Development, which was launched in 2012, and provides a unique comparison of country performance on some of these global standards. The report shows that we are making progress on the ﬁght against IFFs. In recent years, countries have implemented standards and complied with most recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force. 1 300 tax information exchange agreements have been signed and hundreds of oﬀenders for foreign bribery have been sanctioned. In addition, almost USD 150 million in proceeds of corruption, according to the report, were returned between 2010 and June 2012. While we applaud these successes, we also recognise that we need to continue to rally inter-national support to tackle existing performance gaps and shortfalls. Without action, for example, OECD countries are at risk of becoming safe havens for illicit assets by neglecting transparency of ownership: 27 out of 34 OECD countries perform below expectations on ben-eﬁcial ownership of corporate vehicles and trusts. Furthermore, OECD countries will need to continue to prosecute foreign bribery oﬀenders: the report shows that only approximately half of OECD countries have sanctioned a party for a foreign bribery oﬀense.