Customs and Revenue authorities of Malawi, Mali, and Sierra Leone are all investing in the reinforcement of their internal control function with the support of the WCO

20 July 2021

From 28 June to 15 July 2021, several virtual training workshops on internal control were organized by the WCO Anti-Corruption & Integrity Promotion (A-CIP) Programme with funding from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) in response to specific needs identified by Malawi, Mali and Sierra Leone.  The workshops are the first of a series and aim to build a common understanding and vocabulary for internal controls based on the WCO Revised Arusha Declaration Audit and Investigation Key factor, drawing from the WCO Integrity Development Guide and Member experiences, including the compilation of internal control practices.

Customs and Revenue officials holding key positions in areas such as Internal Affairs, Internal Audit, Information Technology, Modernization, Investigations, Corporate Affairs, Policy Planning, Human Resources and Enterprise Risk Management, attended the virtual training workshop facilitated by experts from Brazil Federal Revenue Authority, Canada Border Services Agency, Mauritius Revenue Authority and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Over nine online sessions, and incorporating homework assignments, WCO experts and Customs and Revenue officials exchanged views and perspectives aiming at reinforcing their internal control function.

Malawi Revenue Authority and WCO experts discussed integrity-related best practices such as the use of integrity-based scenarios and case studies to help developing ethical decision-making amongst new recruits and serving officers. During the workshop which mobilized Mali Customs officials and in particular the Internal Control Office agents of Mali Customs, discussions focused on the importance of developing an internal control strategy based on the prevention of inappropriate behavior, the training of agents and robust response and investigation processes. A takeaway emphasized by Sierra Leone National Revenue Authority was the importance of strong collaboration between all areas that have a stake, impact or influence on the promotion of integrity within an organization. For example, internal affairs and human resources working hand-in-hand at the recruitment and training phases.

All three administrations acknowledged the importance of the WCO Revised Arusha Declaration, as well as the impact of collective action to combat corruption and promote integrity.

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