Memorandum submitted by The British Council
The British Council promotes activities, programmes
and projects to counter corruption as part of its work overseas.
The Council considers corruption to be a significant barrier to
development and good governance. We are aware of and support the
British government's views on corruption as an issue in development
and of the views of international agencies such as the World Bank,
the United Nations and the OECD. We take these into account in
any work that we do which contributes to combating corruption.
The British Council has offices in 110 countries.
Each office has a programme of activity tailored to local needs
and interests, but within a broad centrally directed framework.
Some activities in some country programmes contribute either directly
or indirectly to combating corruption. Examples of work which
may be of interest to the Committee, include:
Working directly to develop the capacity
of anti-corruption agencies. In our capacity as managers of development
projects for aid agencies we have managed projects which agencies
such as the Anti-Corruption Commission in Egypt and with police
forces in countries in Central and West Africa. These projects
have generally included the provision of consultancy services
and training for individual officers in Britain. Officers from
a number of anti-corruption agencies have attended training programmes
in the UK on schemes funded or managed by the British Council
over a number of years.
Working with agencies, which have
an indirect role in combating corruption. We have worked in a
number of countries including Kenya, Tanzania, Eritrea and India
to develop the capacity of national public audit bodies by training
staff and providing consultancy support both with our own funds
and through managing donor agency funded projects. We have done
similar work to develop the capacity of national accountancy professional
bodies in countries including Kenya, Poland, Russia, Ukraine,
Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. In the legal field we have undertaken
work to develop the capacity of the judiciary and of lawyers in
a number of countries. We have also managed projects, which have
worked to improve record keeping in public sector organisations.
Proper record keeping is an essential element in combating corruption.
British Council support is principally provided through the provision
of training and other staff development opportunities.
Raising awareness of corruption issues.
We have contributed to a small number of conferences, seminars
and workshops on the theme of corruption, which have brought together
representatives of governments, the media and civil society to
discuss corruption and standards in public life.
We manage examinations in many countries
for several British professional bodies including the ACCA, CIMA,
ICAEW and CIB whose work contributes significantly to the promotion
of professional standards of competence and conduct in financial
From time to time we commission briefing
documents to keep our staff up to date on current issues of concern
and interest. Amongst these have been Ethics in Public Life and
Corporate Governance in the UK from the Centre for Business and
Public Sector Ethics and Corruption from the Centre for the Study
of White Collar Crime at Liverpool John Moores University (copies
Director-General, The British Council