Prevention of corruption through codes of conduct and conflict of interest regimes

Phnom Penh (Cambodia), 14-16 November 2017
- In cooperation with the World Bank Group, UNODC supported the Cambodian Anti- Corruption Unit (ACU) in developing a code of conduct for public officials. During a three-day workshop in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, from 14 to 16 November 2017, a number of Cambodian ministries and national agencies, including the ACU, the National Bank of Cambodia and Ministries of Education, Transportation, Finance, Information, Planning, and others, provided their input to the code of conduct.

Presenting the findings from the Open-Ended Intergovernmental Working Group on Prevention to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), the workshop equipped participants with the understanding of various alternatives for policy development and best practices for codes of conduct. Participants also discussed how to best regulate conflicts of interest within a code of conduct. The ACU presented a questionnaire with the core components the code of conduct should cover and in working groups, participants gave their input to the various components. The code of conduct will cover general principles, public service, using state assets and handling state information, conflict of interest, gifts and hospitality, outside activities/ employment, sanctions, monitoring mechanism, and implementation. The discussions revealed that the understanding of different forms of conflicts of interest and adequate management responses and sanctions needs to be further strengthened.

The workshop, conducted upon request from the ACU, is part of a long-term engagement with the ACU on this topic. In June 2017, the ACU, World Bank Group and UNODC joined forces to conduct a workshop on "Balancing Prevention and Sanctions in Conflict of Interest Regimes" to disseminate best practices, international standards and country examples on asset declaration and conflict of interest regulations and management systems. National consultations, which will include representatives from the private sector and civil society, will be conducted early next year to validate the draft code of conduct. The Code is expected to be adopted mid next year.