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Strengthening the global fight against corruption



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ATTORNEY-GENERAL HON ROBERT McCLELLAND MP

MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS AND JUSTICE HON BRENDAN O’CONNOR MP

MEDIA RELEASE

Thursday, 9 December 2010

STRENGTHEN ING THE GLOBAL FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION

Attorney -General, Robert McClelland, and Minister for Home Affairs and Justice , Brendan O’Connor , today announced Australia will help establish an International Anti -Corruption Academy in Vienna.

Mr McClelland said Australian Government has marked International Anti -Corruption Day Australia by agreeing to become a founding member of the new Academy , which is expected to be fully operation al next year .

“Today’s announcement sh ows Australia is at t he forefront of the international fight against corruption,” he said.

“T he Academy will be a centre of ex cellence in international anti -corruption education, training, coop eration and academic research. ”

“It will foster the sharing o f expertise among academics, anti -corruption investigators, the public and private sectors across countries .”

“Australia's support for the A cademy demonstrates our strong commitment to international efforts to fight corruption and builds on the Government ’s anti -corruption efforts ,” Mr McClelland said.

The Commonwealth Government enacted legislation in February to substantially increase the penalties for foreign and domestic bribery offences.

The UN Convention Against Corruption , to which Australian is a party, will g uide the new Academy’s activities.

Mr O’Connor also welcomed G20 Leaders’ recent announcement of an ambitious anti -corruption action plan designed to build an effective global anti -corruption regime.

“We recognise that no country is immune from the risk of corruption and Australia will work closely with G20 partners on a strong s uite of anti -corruption measures,” Mr O’Connor said.

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“In the wake of the global financial crisis, it i s more important than ever that we prevent corrupt people fr om accessing global financial systems and from laundering the proceeds of their corruption.

“We are committed to cooperating with our international partners to recover these proceeds, including through asset tracing, freezing and confi scation.”

Mr O’C onnor also affirmed Australia’s commitment to conducting a comprehensive, open and inclusive review of its compliance wit h the UN Convention against Corruption in 2011.

This review will be one of the first to be condu cted under the UN’s newly instituted review mechanism.

The Attorney -General's Department has also released an updated Foreign Bribery Information and Awareness Pack to assist Australian individuals and companies to understand how anti -corruption laws affect them.

Further information and c opies of the p ack can found at www.ag.gov.au/foreignbribery .

Media Contact: Ryan Liddell (McClelland) 0427 225 763 ryan.liddell@ag.gov.au Jayne Stinson (O’Connor) 0458 547 512 jayne.s tinson@ag.gov.au