Management of seized and confiscated assets

At its fifth session the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption adopted resolution 5/3 on "Facilitating international cooperation in asset recovery" which, inter alia, "encourages States parties and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to share experience on the management, use and disposal of frozen, seized and confiscated assets, and to identify best practices as necessary, building upon existing resources that address the administration of seized assets, and to consider developing non-binding guidelines on this issue". At the meeting of the Working Group on Asset Recovery from 3-4 September 2015 in Vienna, the Group recommended to States parties and UNODC to continue sharing experience on the management, use and disposal of frozen, seized and confiscated assets, and to identify best practices as necessary, building upon existing resources that address the administration of seized assets, and to consider developing non-binding guidelines on this issue. At its 6th session, the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption adopted resolution 6/3 on "Fostering effective asset recovery" which "encourages States parties and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to continue sharing experience and building knowledge on the management, use and disposal of frozen, seized, confiscated and recovered assets, and to identify good practices as necessary, building upon existing resources that address the administration of seized and confiscated assets, including with a view to contributing to sustainable development".

In carrying out this mandate, UNODC held in April 2014 an Expert Group Meeting that produced a set of findings and recommendations on how to advance the work and thinking of the international community in the areas of:

(i) international cooperation in identifying, seizing and confiscating criminal assets, particularly those of Mafia-based criminal organizations;
(ii) domestic management, use and disposal of seized and confiscated assets; and
(iii) management of returned assets in asset recovery cases.

The outcomes of this Meeting reaffirmed that the management of assets recovered and returned in line with the requirements of Chapter V of UNCAC constituted a crucial topic for a large number of countries.

In September 2015, UNODC conducted an international expert group meeting in Vienna involving over 40 participants from more than 15 jurisdictions to discuss issues such as: the recognition of non-conviction based seizure and confiscation orders as well as asset management orders issued by foreign courts; measures to maintain the value of seized and confiscated assets; institutional frameworks and specialized agencies dedicated to the management of seized and confiscated assets; the concept of social re-use - successes and challenges; the creation of operational databases to support the management and disposal of seized assets; innovative approaches to the disposal and/or use of seized assets; creation of multi-stakeholder partnerships around the management and disposal of seized and confiscated assets; and training needs and training programmes for various stakeholders involved in the management of seized and confiscated assets. As an outcome, a compilation of national experiences and good practices in this field is being developed to help those directly tasked with developing policy frameworks as well as the management of such assets in learning from these experiences and avoiding and/or managing some of the risks and liabilities involved.