From 8 to 10 February 2017, the OECD 5th Parliamentary Days took place in Paris. This was an opportunity for the OECD Global Parliamentary Network to gather and discuss the role of international organizations in the formulation of norms and for the Parliamentary group on integrity and transparency, chaired by Stav Shaffir, member of the Israeli Parliament, to have its first meeting. The objective of this group is to offer an exchange platform to help members of parliaments to enhance transparency in public life, share best practices and organize conferences and meetings to promote an open and transparent government.
On 17 February, The organization also published a report on digital government strategies in Middle East and North Africa countries, in which it recommends to develop digital tools to increase transparency, transform the public sector and bring citizens closer to public policy making. Indeed, the OECD notes that in order to be effective, such strategies must rely upon an equitable deployment and inequality reduction in terms of access to digital tools, which can be implemented through the creation of open data and participative portals through which citizens can take part in public decision-making and have access to new services. Yet, the main challenge remains the development of the technical competences and necessary instruments to the creation of such tools.
The World Bank published its annual report on world development, Governance and the Law, in which it calls for doubling efforts in the fight against corruption, one of the main challenges on the field of governance today. It notably recommends rooting them not only with political will to reform but also thanks to involvement of public officials, coordination of public policies and cooperation. The report highlights the positive impact of transparency andaccountability initiatives in many countries, such as the participative budget in Porto Alegre in Brazil, the social audits of the Andra Pradesh state in India, etc.
On 1 February, the IACA discussed possibilities of reinforced cooperation with countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Beyond anticorruption programs and trainings, the IACA and GCC countries would be able to work together on identifying links between corruption and other topics related to sustainable development. On 7 february, the IACA and Interpol, the largest international organization of police forces, signed a memorandum of understanding to increase cooperation between both organizations in the fight against corruption at a global scale.
On 14 February 2017, the European Commission proposed to amend the Comitology Regulation to introduce more transparency and responsibility. It suggests doing so by modifying voting rules, adding the participation of national ministers, making public votes of representatives of Members states and allowing the Commission to refer the matter to the Council of Ministers for an Opinion if the Appeal Committee is unable to take a position.
The Car Wash case now spreads over the Latin American continent, after revelations of the involvement of the Odebrecht Company whose director was arrested in June 2015 and had given, with 77 other collaborators, evidence to the Brazilian Justice. On 16 and 17 February, prosecutors of 11 countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Dominican Republic and Venezuela) agreed to create « joint teams for investigation, bilateral and multilateral », to investigate in a coordinated way on the Odebrecht case.
As a consequence of the investigations on the construction giant, on Thursday 9 February, in Panama, the two founding members of the Mossack Fonseca law firm were arrested for money laundering in the framework of the Odebrecht case.
Moreover, in Peru, former President Alejandro Toledo have been the subject of an international arrest warrant since 10 February. First President wanted for corruption, he is accused of having received 20 million dollar bribes from the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht in the framework of a call for tenders to build the main road between Peru and Brazil. On 13 February, he was suspected to be leaving to Israel that had assured to prevent him from entering the country before this case is solved. Peru offered a reward for any information enabling to arrest him and thousands of protesters gathered against corruption on Thursday 16 February.