On September 5 and 6, 2013, the Canadian government attended the G20 Leaders Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia to advance international economic cooperation. The Summit’s priorities included quality job creation, combating corruption and tax evasion, debt reduction and fostering investments and trade relations.
While debt reduction and the Syrian conflict became the focus of the Summit, enforcement of existing legislation on bribery, solicitation and whistleblowing is still urgently needed to strengthen public finance accountability, both at home and abroad.
Having co-chaired the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group this past year, Canada is in a leadership position to advance these priorities. Yet a recent G20 Leaders’ progress report on anti-corruption undertakings called on developed nations, including Canada, to further its commitment and efforts to fight corruption. Although Canada made anti-corruption one of its key priorities for the Summit, few gains have been made to toughen anti-corruption measures and financial management controls across the G20.
A long-time proponent of stronger anti-corruption and whistle-blower controls, ACFO has therefore renewed advocacy efforts for greater anti-corruption measures in the wake of recent financial scandals at home. Through a consortium of union leaders at the 102nd Session of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in June of 2013, ACFO President Milt Isaacs voiced the need to strengthen financial controls as well as the financial management community to achieve financial integrity, growth and prosperity.
ACFO recognizes that fiscal capacity is an investment and a tool to fighting corruption. The advancement of ethically oriented nations and private entities is dependent on an ethics-based culture of financial management professionals who are at the helm of stewardship and good governance. Due to the nature of our work, FIs are the eyes and ears of financial stewardship; we play a significant role in our nation’s anti-corruption efforts.
Both as financial officers and concerned citizens, our members know the value of proper financial oversight. We see the social and financial harm that corruption poses to taxpayers and society. ACFO will continue advocating for greater investment in fiscal capacity and stronger measures to combating corruption.