Strengthening Anti-corruption Implementation Capacities Through the UNCAC Self-Assessment Process

What is the project about?

anti-corruption day round table
International Anti-Corruption Day. Credit: UNDP Albania

The implementation of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption requires the proper gathering and analysis of data and information on de jure and de facto compliance gaps, and related technical assistance needs. Data and information are indispensable to the implementation of the Convention because they guide capacity development efforts and inform policy decisions, implementation, and the monitoring of progress.

States parties are encouraged to engage all national stakeholders in this process from the very start, notably ministries, parliament, independent institutions, civil society, private sector, academia, media, and development partners, as this will strengthen the UNCAC Self-Assessment and provide for comprehensive UNCAC Self-Assessment reports. This Guidance Note provides a suggested methodology for all stakeholders involved in national processes to conduct UNCAC Gap Analyses, through the use of the UNCAC Self-Assessment Checklist, thus ultimately contributing to the UNCAC Review Mechanism.

UNCAC Self-Assessments seek to achieve a comparative analysis of the extent to which a country’s national anti-corruption systems, notably its laws, regulations, policies, institutions and programs are complying with the requirements of UNCAC, both de jure and de facto. UNCAC has four main areas: prevention in Chapter I, criminalization and law enforcement in Chapter II, international cooperation in Chapter III, and asset recovery in Chapter IV. UNCAC implementation by States parties is reviewed in two successive five-year review cycles. Under this scheme, each State party to the Convention will review, and be reviewed by its peers, once every five years, Albania being scheduled for June 2013. The Self-Assessment Checklist, a computer-based application, requests countries to indicate whether they have complied with each provision of UNCAC and to provide or attach detailed information to substantiate their responses.

UNCAC Review Mechanism will only review chapters III (Criminalization and law enforcement) and IV (International cooperation) during its first cycle, and chapters II (Preventive measures) and V (Asset recovery) during its second cycle, States Parties are invited to go beyond the minimum and conduct comprehensive UNCAC Self-Assessments in order to promote national reforms and to prepare for an eventual review under the Review Mechanism.

Albania is scheduled for the UNCAC Review in 2013. UNDP cooperates closely with UNODC, which is the Secretariat of the UNCAC, and provides technical assistance on how to fill the check list and on the legal and institutional requirements for the implementation of UNCAC.

Through the “Going Beyond the Minimum” approach, UNDP will support the organization of broad consultation with relevant stakeholders regarding the conduction of the self-assessment. Also, the process will address all the Chapters of the Convention and not only the ones under review in the first cycle. Therefore, UNDP will support the organizational efforts at the country level and the promotion of dialogue among the stakeholders. The lead agency will be the Department of Internal, Administrative Control and Anti-corruption at the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Albania. DIAC will lead and coordinate the entire process, while the UNDP will provide the technical assistance and support.

It is essential that all concerned stakeholders are brought together and actively engaged in the process, including the public sector, civil society, business, and academia. Experience has shown that stakeholder workshops at the beginning and the end of the UNCAC Self-Assessment process are critical to ensure that all stakeholders are meaningfully informed about the process and its ongoing progress and are given opportunities to provide feedback and input. Throughout the process, it is useful to keep a gender perspective in mind, as corruption may affect women and men differently.

Objectives

  • Support the, and contribute to the UNCAC Review mechanism;
  • Support the capacities of the Department of Internal Administrative Control and Anti-corruption at the Office of the Prime Minister to conducting the UNCAC Self-Assessment process (Going Beyond the Minimum);
  • Encourage a participatory and nationally driven process towards anti-corruption reforms through assessing the capacities of the anti-corruption systems, laws and institutions, and identifying possible reforms to address capacity gaps.

Benefits of “Going Beyond the Minimum”

  • It shows political will, openness and full transparency
  • It is inclusive and impartial, providing an opportunity to engage with all stakeholders in the field;
  • Encourages inter-institutional dialogue and cooperation
  • It helps avoiding shadow reporting and criticism
  • Stimulates national involvement in anti-corruption
  • Helps consensus building
  • Provides policy makers with detailed information and analysis
  • Provides a benchmark to measure progress over time
  • Provides clear overview of technical assistance needs
  • Fulfills an international obligation to report

Methodology

Initial step: Establishment of a Steering Committee. It is important to consult during the process and across government to identify which other bodies will be subject the UNCAC Self-Assessment.

Main steps

1.      Initial stakeholders workshop

This event will serve to launch and plan the process. To launch the UNCAC Self-Assessment process, it is useful to bring together all relevant stakeholder groups at this public and participatory event. To this end, this stakeholder workshop will be convened to clarify the goal and scope of the UNCAC Self-Assessment, agree on the methodology, officially assign responsibilities and leadership, and establish rules of cooperation between all concerned parties. The workshop can endorse the Team of Technical Experts, which will comprise professionals drawn from ministries, Parliament, national institutions, civil society, the private sector, and academia, who will actually undertake the review of national legislation and practices.  UNDP will guide this process through its technical experts together with UNODC. They will share their experiences in supporting other countries’ UNCAC review process.

2.      Data collection

a. Document gathering

Once the methodology and responsible parties are agreed, the Team of Technical Experts, in collaboration with UNDP, will start collecting basic background information, including relevant laws, regulations, policies and previous assessments.

b. Stakeholder consultations

The data collection process will include consultations and discussions with government officials and specialists in various sectors including non-governmental actors such as civil society, academia and the private sector. UNDP will facilitate the consultations. The UNDP will have a supporting role; it will not lead the process. The research agenda and data collection needs would be owned by the government-appointed people.

3.      Analysis and drafting of the reports

UNCAC Self-Assessment Report will collate the country’s detailed responses to each substantive article of the Convention. Following stakeholder consultations, the Team of Technical Experts will finalize the inputs to the Self-Assessment Checklist and generate the UNCAC Self-Assessment Report. UNDP will provide technical assistance to support the Team of Technical Experts to elaborate it.

4.      Validation workshop and finalization of the reports

The final step in the UNCAC Self-Assessment process will be to substantiate the findings through a Validation Workshop. The final Validation Workshop should be held with the same group of participants that attended the initial Stakeholder Workshop. UNDP will facilitate the workshop, and UNODC will also be an active accomplice.

5.      Publication and dissemination of the reports

The products of the UNCAC Self-Assessment process will be discussed and disseminated to all relevant stakeholders. The project will also support the publication and dissemination of the UNCAC self-assessment report.

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Who finances it?



Year

Donor

Amount contributed  USD

2013

UNDP

45,475

Delivery

Year 

Total delivery

2013  $ 45,475
Project Overview
Status
Active
Duration
May 2013 – December 2013
Geographic coverage
Nationwide
MDG
9
Programme officer
Arben Rama
Partners
Ministry of Justice, Department for Internal Control and Anti-Corruption at the Office of the Prime Minister
Related documents
Project document