A statement from the U.S. office of Transparency International
September 10, 2021 – Today, Representatives Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Joe Wilson (R-SC), Co-Chair and Ranking Member of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (also known as the Helsinki Commission), respectively, announced the introduction of the Counter-Kleptocracy Act (CKA). The Act is a combination of seven bipartisan anticorruption bills introduced earlier this year, and is supported by a coalition of civil society organizations working to promote transparency and accountability in government.
Scott Greytak, Director of Advocacy for Transparency International’s U.S. office (TI-US), said the following on the introduction of the CKA:
“From parts of the Middle East to the Northern Triangle to parts of Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia, authoritarian regimes are using corruption to put and keep themselves in power. In doing so, they steal money from their people that could have gone toward healthcare, education, and infrastructure, and they contribute to extremism, mass migration, and political and economic volatility. It is for these reasons and others that the Biden Administration recently designated the fight against foreign corruption as a core U.S. national security interest.
It is imperative that Congress now meet this moment by adopting new measures to combat foreign corruption and kleptocracy.
The Counter-Kleptocracy Act is a bipartisan package of transparency, information-sharing, and anti-bribery measures that will enhance existing U.S. sanctions programs, encourage cooperative anticorruption efforts among the U.S. and its allies, and empower the U.S. government to fight foreign corruption at its source. Together, this collection of reforms can help expose and counteract authoritarian and kleptocratic regimes across the world, and address foreign corruption as a national security interest of the first order.
We strongly urge Congress to approve the Counter-Kleptocracy Act as quickly as possible, and thank Representatives Cohen and Wilson for their leadership.”
Transparency International is the world’s largest coalition against corruption. We give voices to victims and witnesses of corruption, and work with governments, businesses, and citizens to stop the abuse of entrusted power. In collaboration with national chapters in more than 100 countries, we are leading the fight to turn our vision of a world free from corruption into reality.
Our U.S. office focuses on stemming the harms caused by illicit finance, strengthening political integrity, and promoting a positive U.S. role in global anti-corruption initiatives. Through a combination of research, advocacy, and policy, we engage with stakeholders to increase public understanding of corruption and hold institutions and individuals accountable.
- Read the text of the Counter-Kleptocracy Act here;
- Read a summary of the Act prepared by the Helsinki Commission here;
- Read a letter of support for the Counter-Kleptocracy Act signed by 35 civil society organizations and prominent individuals here;
- Read TI-US’s 2021 policy plan for fighting foreign corruption, “Combating Global Corruption: A Bipartisan Plan“.