Outcomes - Integrity Sub-Committee

17 May 2011

Integrity remains high on the agenda: Outcomes of the 10th session of the WCO Integrity Sub-Committee

Brussels, 6 May, 2011

Over 130 participants from more than 70 Customs administrations, international organizations, private sector entities and educational institutions attended the 10th Session of the WCO Integrity Sub-Committee, held in Brussels on 6 May 2011. The meeting was eloquently chaired by Mr. Roy Skårslette from Norway.

Kunio Mikuriya, WCO Secretary General, welcomed the delegates of the Sub-Committee and highly appreciated their efforts, aimed at promoting integrity in Customs. He stressed that such promotion was of great importance for both governmental agencies and the private sector, thus requiring close collaboration between all the parties concerned.

Mr. Erich Kieck, Director Capacity Building, highlighted the activities of the WCO Secretariat in the integrity area on national, regional and international level.

During the intensive one day session, participants shared their views and experiences on a number of topics, notably “How can the business community and Customs work together to promote integrity ?”, which was dealt with during an interesting panel discussion, and “Lifestyle audits and declarations of assets – How to go about them ?” There were also lively discussions on the practical implementation of integrity pilot projects in various Member administrations.

Certain new initiatives by Member countries were presented as well. An impressive example was the work of the “Customs Officers’ Wives Association (COWA)” in Nigeria, a social initiative that aims at supporting families of Customs officials. One of the areas the Association concentrates on is the training of family members to let them obtain professional skills in various areas, thus allowing them to contribute to the officer’s family income (and to reduce the temptation for Customs officers to look for illegal sources of income). In addition, the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA), participated for the first time in the ISC and presented its work to date.

Intersessional work of the ISC will now be carried out by interested delegates on the further development of the Integrity Development Guide, and the Capacity Building Directorate was tasked to provide a platform for further exchange on social programmes and initiatives similar to what was presented by COWA.

The next ISC session will be held in Brussels at the beginning of March 2012. The draft report of the 10th session will soon be sent to all participants.