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
21 January 2021
Today U.S. Senator Ben Cardin introduced the Countering Russian and Other Overseas Kleptocracy Act (CROOK Act) and the Combatting Global Corruption Act. The CROOK Act 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.
The Combatting Global Corruption Act 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 introduction of the bills:
When bribery buys access to sensitive lands or 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 anti-corruption 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. These bills, both of which have received strong bipartisan support in Congress and universal acclaim from anti-corruption experts and advocates, now give the new Congress an opportunity to continue that work.
- Read the texts of the CROOK Act and Combatting Global Corruption Act;
- Read TI-US’s letter to Congress in support of the CROOK Act;
- Read Transparency International’s Exporting Corruption 2020 report;
Scott Greytak, Advocacy Director, Transparency International U.S. Office
Telephone: +1 614-668-0258