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IPACS takes important decisions for the future

IOC/Christophe Moratal
08 Nov 2022

During its annual meeting on 8 November 2022, the International Partnership against Corruption in Sport (IPACS) discussed important topics, including the finalisation of the Governance Guidelines, the outcomes of the recent workshops on Games-related procurement, the launch of a network composed of criminal justice authorities and sports organisations, and the new composition and expansion of the Steering Committee. More than 110 IPACS key stakeholders from governments, sports organisations and intergovernmental organisations had accepted the invitation and joined the meeting.

Guidelines for Sport Governance Benchmark finalised

IPACS reviewed and approved the final version of the Guidelines for the Sport Governance Benchmark, an extensive project led by IPACS Task Force 3 over the last year. The Guidelines aim to support both national governments and sports organisations across all levels in the practical implementation of good governance based on the IPACS benchmark. They feature useful definitions, explanations on the importance and application of each benchmark and the required investments, as well as specific guidance in line with the organisation’s situation (early, developing or advanced stage) and best practice examples. IPACS will now work on a strategy on how to best disseminate this valuable resource to ensure it is used pragmatically.

Success of IOC-OECD international workshops

The participants were also briefed on the outcomes of the recent IOC-OECD international workshops on Games-related procurement, organised in October. The virtual sessions brought together experts from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Organising Committees (OCOGs) of Paris 2024, Milano Cortina 2026 and Los Angeles 2028, and public authorities. The combination of infrastructure and procurement, two complex and high-risk areas, exposes major sporting events to a range of threats to effective, transparent and accountable delivery. To support OCOGs in addressing these threats, the IOC and the OECD are in the process of developing actionable guidelines. This project is aligned with and complements important work undertaken previously by IPACS Task Force 1.

Proposal to develop the IPACS Frontline Criminal Justice and Sport (Frontrunners) Network

During the meeting, IPACS also reviewed a proposal to develop a new initiative, the Frontline Criminal Justice and Sport (Frontrunners) Network. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and IOC proposed that the new network would be co-chaired by the IOC and the UNODC and would aim to promote and enhance cooperation and the exchange of information and good practices among frontline anti-corruption law enforcement practitioners, representatives of sports organisations and other relevant stakeholders.

Provisionally known as the IPACS Frontrunners Network, the new initiative would build on the work accomplished by IPACS Task Force 4, offering a response to the multiple calls by the international community and sports organisations to develop mechanisms which enhance the exchange of information and support cooperation and collaboration to effectively tackle corruption in sport.

The concept note of this network has been circulated to the Task Force experts for review.

More Task Force activities

During the activity updates of the various IPACS Task Forces, the attendants endorsed a new document on “Mitigating the risks of corruption in the candidature process of major sport events”, edited by Task Force 2. It contains recommendations aimed at supporting major sports event organisers at international and national level.

Finally, the IPACS stakeholders agreed on the partnership’s Strategic Roadmap for 2023 and 2024. The group was also presented with a new two-minute video clip, explaining the origins, mission, stakeholders and activities of IPACS in an entertaining format. The video clip will be made available to all IPACS partners and should be a useful tool for presentations and other communication opportunities.

A growing Steering Committee

The guidelines that govern IPACS have been reviewed recently to expand the representation of stakeholders within the Bureau and to merge it within the new Steering Committee. During today’s meeting, the group was further expanded, welcoming the governments of Mexico and Saudi Arabia, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) and an athletes’ representative. Athletes being at the heart of the sports movement and thus very much affected when corruption happens in their environment, it is therefore important to listen to their views and needs in this area. Oluseyi Smith, a retired two-time Summer and Winter Olympian in athletics and bobsleigh from Canada and a member of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, will contribute to the partnership’s activities with the athletes’ perspective.

The participants thanked outgoing Steering Committee Chair Jocelyn East representing the government of Canada over the last two years, for his excellent leadership of the group throughout challenging times marked by the COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst the government of Canada will remain part of the Steering Committee, the IOC was designated by IPACS to coordinate the IPACS activities in 2023 and 2024 on behalf of the sports movement, following a principle to rotate the chair between governments and sports organisations every two years.

All official documents related to the meeting can be found here.

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