EB's Work on Transparency, Governance, and Anti-Corruption
As part of its efforts to support global economic growth and stability, the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs recognizes the critical linkages between transparency, governance and fighting corruption. Corruption undermines U.S. interests in a variety of ways: by impeding global development, by damaging the quality of governance and public confidence in institutions, and by distorting international competitive conditions to the detriment of U.S. companies. The Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, in close cooperation with other bureaus in the Department of State and U.S. government agencies, leads the Department in a number of crucial areas; such as enlisting others in the fight against foreign bribery, including through promoting adherence to the AntiBribery Convention; fiscal transparency to improve government accountability; responsible business conduct; fighting graft in development assistance and public procurement, and seeking stronger disciplines on transparency and anticorruption in our trade agreements:
- The Office of Monetary Affairs leads the fight against bribery of foreign officials in major commercial transactions as the lead on foreign bribery in the Department and as head of the interagency delegation to the OECD Working Group on Bribery, which monitors implementation of the Anti-Bribery Convention. It also works with countries to address weaknesses in public financial management highlighted in the Congressionally-mandated Fiscal Transparency Report, and provides targeted assistance through the Fiscal Transparency Innovation Fund. It also leads EB’s efforts on the Partnership on Illicit Finance.
- The Office of Bilateral Trade Affairs seeks to embed strong anti-corruption provisions in new U.S. trade agreements, while the Office of Multilateral Trade Affairs encourages other countries to sign the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement, designed to make laws and practices on such procurement more transparent and non-discriminatory to foreign suppliers. Both offices have worked to include transparency and anti-corruption provisions in trade agreements.
- The Office of Commercial and Business Affairs, within strict anti-corruption guidelines established by the Department of Commerce, provides and coordinates advocacy for U.S. firms doing business overseas, and provides assistance to U.S. firms seeking help with business problems abroad.
- The Office of Development Finance strongly supports the anti-corruption measures implemented by the multilateral development banks, including integrity safeguards aimed at graft in procurements financed by their lending and grants, as well as programs designed to help developing countries improve their governance and anti-corruption frameworks.
- The Office of Investment Affairs, through its efforts to improve investment climates, investment opportunities, and business registration globally, encourages the adoption of measures to reduce corruption overseas.
- The Responsible Business Conduct (RBC) team in the Office of Economic Policy Analysis and Public Diplomacy provides guidance and support for responsible business practices through engagement with a range of stakeholders, and through promoting the implementation of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, a comprehensive set of recommendations on responsible business conduct, including issues such combating bribery, disclosure, human rights, labor rights, and more. The team also houses the U.S. National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines and runs a dispute resolution mechanism to help promote responsible business conduct. And the office coordinates the annual Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence, given out to U.S. companies demonstrating high standards in their global operations.
The Counter Threat Finance and Sanctions (TFS) team works in conjunction with other bureaus within the Department of State, Department of Treasury, Department of Commerce, and Department of Justice, to coordinate the development and implementation of foreign policy-related sanctions adopted to counter national security threats posed by particular activities and countries. In addition, TFS advances policies that seek to minimize available funds used by a variety of groups that pose a threat to domestic, international, and regional security.
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