Improving the Fight Against Cross-Border Corruption

With globalisation, border authorities play an increasingly important role in facilitating trade and circulation of goods and people across borders while protecting national interests and security.

Yet, corruption and weak accountability make borders porous and difficult to control, thus fuelling various forms of illegal activities such as human and drug trafficking, arms and goods smuggling in addition to organised crime and terrorism. Cross-border corruption has a severe negative impact on trade, revenue collection, shipping costs and security.

To improve the fight against corruption related to cross border activities, officials from OLAF (The European Commission European Anti-Fraud Office) and senior officers and managers from the Palestinian General Administration for Borders and Crossings (GABC) held a workshop titled “The fight against corruption on cross-border activities”. The workshop was conducted in Jericho on 4 and 5 March 2019 with 70 attendees from GABC, PACC, the Council of Ministries, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Finance, the Civil Service Commission, and the Financial and Administrative Control Bureau.

The aim of the workshop, organized by the EU Border Assistance Mission for the Rafah Crossing (EUBAM Rafah) in synergy with GABC and PACC, was to share experience on cross-border investigations into corruptive practices. It provided the participants with the experience of GABC in tackling corruption at the Palestinian borders as well as OLAF’sinvestigation methodologyused to reveal possible corruptive cross-border practices.

In addition, the workshop included a highly relevant briefing by the Palestinian Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC). The briefing gave an overview of the Palestinian National Anti-Corruption Strategy and the legal framework. PACC also shared their experience in tackling border-related corruptionwith special emphasis on corruption risks’ management and the recent Memorandum of understanding signed between PACC and GABC in this regard.

Finally, the workshop offered a framework to discuss various recommendations on how to improve the fight against corruption, identified by the participants during a working group exercise before the conclusion of the event.

Top Photo: The workshop panel (from left): Mr. Said Shehadeh from the Palestinian Anti-Corruption Commission; OLAF investigator Mr. Antonio Gallo; Ms Antonella Di Sandri from EUBAM Rafah; Mr. Iyad Salameh, Director General of International Relations of the General Administration for Borders and Crossings; OLAF investigator Mr. Giovanni Bancale.