Shatter Says Bill to Fight Corruption due Shortly
Mr Shatter said that the new Criminal Justice Bill would clarify and reform laws dating back to 1889 so that anti-corruption measures were made clearer and more accessible. In the light of the self-examination sparked by the reports of the Moriarty and Mahon tribunals, Mr Shatter said that the response of Government to reform would be “the mark of our integrity as ministers and parliamentarians”.
Speaking at the OCSE (Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe) forum in Dublin Castle, Mr Shatter spoke of how a lack of good governance, the absence of efficient and accountable institutions and a lack of transparency opened the door to corruption. He went on to say that increased international co-operation was core to the targeting of the proceeds of crime. “Trading in influence” would be made an offence in the forthcoming corruption Bill and work was ongoing on a statutory register of lobbyists. “Good governance at all levels contributes to prosperity, stability and security. Secondly, promoting good governance requires a comprehensive, multi-dimensional and multi-stakeholder approach. Promoting good governance and combating corruption is not a simple task and consistent action on several fronts is needed. Preventative measures have to be intertwined with enforcement measures. Legislative improvements have to be supported by strengthening the implementation capacity of relevant institutions. A culture of integrity, transparency and accountability at central and local level has to be promoted. At the same time, it is important to strengthen whistleblowers and safeguards for protection. Asset and income declaration systems are important corruption prevention measures but they have to be backed by effective verification mechanisms and ultimately by the capacity to identify, freeze and recover stolen assets.”