On 16th November 2018 the WCO and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) signed an agreement to cooperate on a new “Anti-Corruption and Integrity Promotion (A-CIP) Programme for Customs”.
This Programme responds to the increased demand from WCO Members for support in their own efforts to promote integrity and meet the recommendations of the Revised Arusha Declaration on Integrity in Customs, recognizing the high costs of corruption, to both public and private sectors.
WCO and Norad have been working in partnership since October 2007 to develop the capacity of customs administrations to meet modern challenges such as those posed by globalization and contribute to economic growth and security of their nations.
For more than two decades the WCO has played an active and key role in addressing the complex problem of corruption in public service and more specifically in customs. The WCO’s core strategic policy document Customs in the 21st Century emphasizes the "fight against corruption, the safeguarding of integrity and the enhancement of good governance measures.” The A-CIP Programme will galvanize activity in this area and lead efforts to improve governance and integrity in customs. Specifically, it will support a select number of WCO Members in the implementation of new measures to combat corruption and promote integrity in accordance with the 10 areas of the Revised Arusha Declaration:
Leadership and Commitment, Regulatory Framework, Transparency, Automation, Reform and Modernization, Audit and Investigation, Code of Conduct, Human Resource Management, Morale and Organizational Culture, Relationship with the Private Sector.
It will do this through: Improved capacity and utilization of (1) performance measurement and (2) collective action as well as (3) the implementation of specific customs modernization efforts that combat corruption and promote integrity; and improved regional and WCO tools and instruments on integrity to support customs administrations in target countries in the fight against corruption.
It is envisaged that these aims will be achieved through delivery of activities under two components:
(A) Bilateral Component to Support WCO countries undertaking measures to implement parts of the Revised Arusha Declaration. Preliminary target countries have been identified, for which multi-annual action plans will be developed along with clear benchmarks and performance measurement criteria.
(B) Multilateral Component to create an enabling environment for WCO Members to implement A-CIP measures by leveraging other regional and international initiatives in parallel and to build WCO instruments and tools.
The Programme design has taken into account lessons learned from previous WCO programmes as well as experiences and insights into the challenges for technical assistance and capacity building in the fight against corruption.
Specific attention has been paid to take into account parallel activities both in the participating countries as well as globally, in order to ensure that A-CIP delivers results that complement ongoing and deeper reforms. The actions are expected to commence early 2019 and aim to deliver specific outcomes for each participating country over a period of five years.
A number of countries have already been identified as initial targets for the Programme, through their demonstration of interest and commitments to change. More countries are showing interest in being part of the Programme, and A-CIP is open to inclusion of support from other donors which could enable more WCO Members to benefit from the Programme’s targeted technical assistance and capacity building.