Statements
February 4, 2021

Pair of anticorruption bills would create valuable new tools for combatting global corruption

TI-US calls on Congress to quickly approve them 

A statement from the U.S. office of Transparency International  

 February 4, 2021 


Today, U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (MD) and Roger Wicker (MS) announced the introduction of the Countering Russian and Other Overseas Kleptocracy Act (CROOK Act). The CROOK Act, which was also recently introduced in the U.S. House by Reps. Bill Keating (MA) and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA), would impose a new sanction on the most egregious violators of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the U.S.’s leading law for curbing foreign bribery, and invest the proceeds of those sanctions into programs that fight corruption overseas. 

Senators Ben Cardin and Todd Young (IN) also recently introduced the Combatting Global Corruption Act, which would require the U.S. State Department to produce a public report, similar to the annual Trafficking in Persons Report on global human trafficking, that evaluates country-by-country compliance with internationally recognized anticorruption norms and standards. Corrupt officials in those countries that score in the lowest of three tiers would be evaluated for inclusion on the Global Magnitsky list of sanctions designations.  

Gary Kalman, Director of Transparency International’s U.S. Office (TI-US), issued the following statement on the two bills:  

When bribery buys access to sensitive lands, gives permission to companies to evade basic health and safety rules, or pays militias to undermine local safety and security, people suffer. It is yet another reminder that corruption is not a victimless crime.  

I can think of no better use of funds recovered from corrupt actors operating overseas than to fund global anticorruption efforts. And the worst of the worst corrupt actors need to know there are consequences for their actions.   

With the recent rise in authoritarian regimes around the world and the abuse of power that follows, these bills are both timely and important.   

Scott Greytak, Advocacy Director for TI-US, added:  

When Congress included half a dozen anticorruption measures in the recent national defense bill, it proved that the fight against global corruption was a true bipartisan priority. Now these two bills, both of which have received strong bipartisan support in Congress and universal acclaim from anticorruption experts and advocates, give the new Congress an opportunity to continue that work. 

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Media Contact  

Scott Greytak, Advocacy Director, Transparency International U.S. Office 
Telephone: +1 614-668-0258  

Email: sgreytak@transparency.org