By Tom Cardamone, October 2, 2014
A Quarterly Newsletter on the Work of Global Financial Integrity from June through September 2014
Global Financial Integrity is pleased to present GFI Engages, a quarterly newsletter created to highlight events at GFI and in the world of illicit financial flows. We look forward to keeping you updated on our research, advocacy, high level engagement, and media presence. The following items represent just a fraction of what GFI has been up to since May, so make sure to check our new website for frequent updates.
U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit
The big news this quarter was the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit held in Washington, D.C. in early August, which brought together leaders from fifty African nations with President Obama, and included a ground-breaking announcement that a joint high-level working group on illicit financial flows would be formed. GFI participated in the summit’s Civil Society Forum as well as several additional side events, and were proud to partner with the Open Society Foundations (OSF) and other organizations to host the event “Resources for the Future: Partnering with Civil Society for Transparency and Accountability in Africa,” which celebrated the role of civil society in advocating for transparency and accountability in Africa and discussing ways to make further progress. The high-caliber roster of speakers are too numerous to list here, but included Vice President Joseph Boakai of Liberia; George Soros, founder of OSF; Mo Ibrahim, founder of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation; and Mojanku Gumbi, a trustee of the Thabo Mbeki Foundation. The public event was followed by an African-U.S. civil society working session.
By Tom Cardamone, September 29, 2014
GFI Participates in High Level OECD Side-Event on Curbing Illicit Flows during UN General Assembly Meetings
On September 24th, tucked away in a quiet conference room in the basement of the UN General Assembly building, an extraordinary conversation took place on the future of global development. But, despite the gathering of representatives from the OECD, UN, World Bank, USAID and the Mexican, Australian, and Nigerian governments, the event received exactly zero media coverage.
Titled “Curbing Illicit Financial Flows for Domestic Resource Mobilization and Sustainable Development in the Post-2015 Era,” the focal point of the two-hour discussion was how the international community could, as the program description put it, “identify concrete international actions needed” to curtail illicit financial flows out of developing country economies. While other events were given more airtime and other issues may require more immediate attention, some ideas presented at the panel could be transformational in terms of how countries address the scourge of illicit flows and how the development agenda is funded.
Report Highlights the Human Cost to Developing Countries of Corruption and the Financial Structures Facilitating It
World Leaders Must Act to Implement Effective Transparency Measures at This Year’s G20 Summit and Beyond
WASHINGTON, DC – The ONE Campaign, an international advocacy and campaigning organization, today released a report, entitled “The Trillion-Dollar Scandal,” highlighting the cost of corruption and other forms of illicit financial flows to developing countries and enumerating several crucial steps world leaders can take to curb these flows. Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a Washington-DC based research and advocacy organization, applauded the report as a welcome and timely addition to this important discussion in international development.
GFI’s Platform Issue Moving Forward to International Implementation
GFI Notes that Issues Still Need to Be Addressed, Warns that Developing Country Participation is Critical
WASHINGTON, DC – The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) today released a document encompassing standard agreements for the automatic exchange of financial information between countries as well as newly drafted guidance on implementing those agreements, in moves generally welcomed by Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a Washington, DC-based research and advocacy organization. In their press release, the OECD also asked for comments from the public by September 12th about how the framework for voluntary disclosure by taxpayers could be improved. The documents are expected to be formally adopted at the G20 Summit in Australia in November 2014, after approval by the G20 Finance Ministers at their September 20-21st meeting in Cairns.
By Tom Cardamone, May 28, 2014
A Quarterly Newsletter on the Work of Global Financial Integrity from January through May 2014
Global Financial Integrity is pleased to present GFI Engages, a quarterly newsletter created to highlight events at GFI and in the world of illicit financial flows. We look forward to keeping you updated on our research, advocacy, high level engagement, and media presence.
This year has been busy so far, with GFI staff traveling to six continents within the first three months alone. The following items represent just a fraction of what GFI has been up to, so make sure to check our new website for frequent updates.
Measurable Change in India
In late April, the Indian Directorate of Revenue Intelligence released a summary of its first two years of increased law enforcement activity targeted at cases of commercial fraud, including illicit financial flows through trade misinvoicing. Their early results have been remarkable: between March 2012 and March 2014, they detected $1.3 billion worth of commercial fraud, and collected $396 million in new revenue.
India is just beginning its effort to crack down on trade-related illicit financial flows, and should serve as an example of the potential that curtailing trade misinvoicing has for development. India began working in earnest to reduce illicit financial flows after a report by Global Financial Integrity showed the economy had lost $462 billion since 1948 due to illicit outflows. Following years of intense political debate and public outcry, the Indian Ministry of Finance declared trade misinvoicing its ‘top priority’ and began working with GFI and others to address it.