The role of parliamentarians in the fight against money laundering

Parliamentarians worldwide face two major challenges in combating the laundering of corrupt money. Firstly, as Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) they are often viewed as part of the problem. Secondly, unlike familiar subject areas such as parliamentary oversight, and parliamentary ethics and rules of conduct, money laundering is often viewed by parliamentarians as a somewhat obscure and highly complex phenomenon and not typically part of their lexicon. That said, parliamentarians have a key role to play in this fight. While it is true that many backbench parliamentarians are corrupt, much of the ‘big ticket’ or grand corruption, as apposed to petty bribery, is perpetrated by the Executive Branches of governments, i.e. members of the Cabinet and Presidents, etc. These people hold the keys to major decisions – for example whether or not to approve a natural resource development project in their country. One of the key roles of parliamentarians, regrettably sometimes forgotten, is to hold the Executive Branch of government to account.

Guest Presenter

Hon. Roy Cullen B.A., C.A.

Roy Cullen has been actively involved in the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption, or GOPAC, (www.gopacnetwork.org) since 2001 – a group of more than 700 parliamentarians in over 50 countries in all regions of the world, who see how negatively corruption affects their citizens, and who want to do what they can to improve governance and reduce/eliminate corruption. GOPAC fights corruption and money laundering in parallel tracks. GOPAC parliamentarians see themselves as part of the solution and are very engaged in this fight. GOPAC, under Roy Cullen’s leadership as then Chair of GOPAC’s Anti-Money Laundering Global Task Force, has produced, in three languages, a publication entitled, GOPAC’s Anti-Money Laundering Action Guide for Parliamentarians, to de-mystify the topic; to explain some of the jargon; and to describe how parliamentarians can make a difference in this important fight – together with the specific steps that they can take. Roy Cullen will describe the important role parliamentarians can play in combatting the laundering of corrupt money, including some AML parliamentary success stories.

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