15th session of the WCO Integrity Sub-Committee (ISC)

25 April 2016

The WCO Integrity Sub-Committee (ISC) held its 15th Session on 13-15 April 2016 at the WCO headquarters in Brussels. About 140 delegates representing WCO Member administrations and stakeholder organizations participated in discussions that ensued after a warm welcome by the Chairperson, Mrs. Sigfríður Gunnlaugsdóttir from Iceland Customs.

On the first day, a session of the Capacity Building Committee and the Integrity sub-Committee was held. The purpose was to present and discuss horizontal issues, in particular strategic human resource management in order to promote integrity.

The Director of Capacity Building indicated that the WCO had prepared a high level paper for the G20 Anti-corruption Working Group on its approach to tackling corruption in Customs and his vision for the future. In this context he informed the ISC that the WCO would be participating in the OECD Integrity Forum at a high level.

The ISC agenda featured presentations on lifestyle audits, sound rotation policies and communication as practical measures to enhance the image of Customs and ensure greater compliance.

The WCO presented the recent work carried out in the field of fragile states by the Research Unit and highlighted the difficult conditions in which Customs officers had to carry out their duties. It also provided the ISC with an update on the latest activities undertaken by the WCO in the area of integrity development since the 14th Session of ISC, including on its cooperation with the G20 Anti-corruption working group.

During a joint session between the ISC and Academia, researchers and practitioners presented their work on how data and technology could have a positive impact on integrity enhancement but how it could be negatively perceived by the public.

WCO Members took the opportunity of those three days to have frank discussions and share their views on the issue of integrity in Customs.

Mrs. Sigfríður GUNNLAUGSDOTTIR of Iceland Customs was re-elected as the Chairperson of the ISC. Mr. Narrainen SOOPAYAH from Mauritius Revenue Authority was elected Vice-Chair of the ISC