- 08 Nov 2021
The Steering Committee of the International Partnership Against Corruption in Sport (IPACS) met virtually on 8 November to review the progress of its Task Force activities and discuss future initiatives. The meeting, which brought together more than 100 representatives from intergovernmental organisations, governments and sports organisations, was organised one day prior to the fourth edition of the IOC’s International Forum for Sports Integrity (IFSI), at which IPACS will feature high on the agenda.
The Steering Committee noted that the adoption of its new Governance Guidelines a year ago have had a positive impact on the work of IPACS. The Bureau was restructured, allowing for broader participation and stronger involvement of the various stakeholders. Despite the impacts of the pandemic, the IPACS Task Forces have continued to meet virtually this year in order to accomplish their work plan and agree on future activities.
All participants agreed that the new report, “Tackling bribery in sport: an overview of relevant standards and laws”, published recently on the IPACS website, was an important tool for governments. Led by IPACS Task Force 4, this report is an initial approach to identify legal provisions and related best practices that could be applicable to corruption in sport. It draws on more than 180 national jurisdictions and national anti-bribery laws reported to the United Nations (UN).
The Steering Committee also approved the new toolkit on the reallocation of sports events, developed by IPACS Task Force 2. This new resource for sports event owners provides practical guidance on how to deal with the challenges created by the reallocation process and ensure integrity throughout all the stages of this, offering specific tools to mitigate the risk of fraud and corruption. Meanwhile, progress has also been made on finalising the “Recommendations to mitigate the corruption risks in the candidature process for major sport events”, which are also being led by Task Force 2 and are currently undergoing a final review.
A progress report was delivered on the “Implementation Guidelines” for the IPACS Sport Governance Benchmark, which are being developed by Task Force 3. In total, there are five sections to be covered, and the Task Force has finalised and approved its work on the two sections related to “transparency” and “integrity”. As the next step, the Task Force will review and discuss the sections on “democracy”, “development and solidarity” and “checks and balances and internal processes”. The Steering Committee endorsed the continuation of this important initiative.
The Steering Committee also learnt about the latest developments regarding the IOC-OECD study, launched at the beginning of this year. The study is aimed at developing guidelines on the effective delivery of infrastructure and associated services for major international multi-sports and single-sport events, complementing the work achieved by Task Force 1, which is devoted to reducing the risk of corruption in this area. During the last few months, the project leaders have conducted extensive desk research, together with interviews with experts and key stakeholders (including organising committees), in order to develop actionable guidelines. An international workshop will be organised in mid-2022 to bring together sports federations, event organisers, public institutions and leading procurement practitioners and infrastructure policy-makers, to discuss related challenges and identify effective responses.
In addition, the Steering Committee discussed next steps for IPACS, including a presentation on the roadmap of IPACS for the coming months. The partners were and are still invited to provide opportunities to promote IPACS during their own events. Important future milestones include the launch of the advanced edition of the UNODC Global Report on Corruption in Sport on 9 December 2021, coinciding with International Anti-Corruption Day; the high-level panel on corruption in sport during the 9th Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, in Sharm El-Sheikh from 13 to17 December 2021; the 2022 OECD Global Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum; and the Commonwealth Ministers’ meeting and the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers meeting in the second half of 2022, to name just a few.
Members were also invited to provide their views on the fight against corruption in sport as well as on how IPACS can support their efforts. A survey is still open, and the Bureau will collate and analyse the input provided at its meeting before the end of 2021. Increasing the number of governments actively involved in IPACS, enhancing communication activities as well as the engagement of athletes will form part of the considerations.
The activities and achievements of IPACS will be discussed prominently during the fourth edition of the IFSI, which will take place on 9 November and bring together over 500 stakeholders representing the Olympic Movement, intergovernmental agencies, governments, the betting industry and other sectors. The focus will be on: the work undertaken in the field of good governance in sports organisations; the benefits of IPACS for governments; the cooperation between sport, criminal justice authorities and law enforcement; and the efforts to ensure integrity in the procurement of infrastructure and services. More information on the IFSI will be published on www.olympics.com/ioc.