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03 Jul 2018

ASOIF participates in IPACS meeting aimed at tackling corruption in sport

copyright IOC/Philippe Woods

The International Partnership against Corruption in Sport (IPACS) – a multi-stakeholder platform composed of the IOC, ASOIF and other international sports organisations, governments and inter-governmental organisations such as the OECD, the Council of Europe and UNODC – met in Lausanne on 29 June 2018 to evaluate their recent efforts in addressing pressing issues in sport.

The IPACS Working Group agreed in December 2017 to establish the following three new taskforces:

· Task Force 1: reducing the risk of corruption in procurement relating to sporting events and infrastructure;

· Task Force 2: ensuring integrity in the selection of major sporting events, with an initial focus on managing conflicts of interests; and

· Task Force 3: optimising the processes of compliance with good governance principles to mitigate the risk of corruption.

Addressing the meeting participants, IOC President Thomas Bach said: “Sport, like all other areas of society, cannot be immune from corruption. Our challenge is to act quickly and effectively when it occurs. This is crucial to protecting our integrity and therefore our credibility. The huge value of IPACS is that it brings together key partners from international sport, government and inter-governmental organisations. They can work together in an effective and pragmatic way that avoids creating unnecessary bureaucracy.”

ASOIF President Francesco Ricci Bitti, who attended the meeting, said: ”The composition of IPACS is unique and enjoys exceptional high-level support from governments and inter-governmental bodies. ASOIF is delighted to contribute to the important work of the taskforces, especially with the expertise we have gained during our review of IF governance.”

During last week’s meeting, each taskforce presented a progress report to the IPACS Working Group on the efforts undertaken in their respective areas over the past six months.

Having reviewed previous major sporting events requiring the construction or significant redevelopment of existing infrastructure, Task Force 1 noted that the implementing agencies were mostly institutionalised public bodies usually using an open tender as the preferred procurement procedure. Overall, transparency throughout the development cycle diminished, with the number and nature of amendments in each individual infrastructure/procurement project remaining largely unknown. The Task Force also identified a general lack of specific corruption and fraud risk management strategies. The analysis will lay the foundations for developing concrete tools and guidance for sports organisations (such as Olympic and Paralympic Games Organising Committees), public authorities and other bodies involved in staging major sports events, in order to mitigate risks of fraud and corruption throughout the procurement cycle.

Task Force 2 identified a number of key elements which may cause a potential, perceived or actual conflicts of interests in the selection of major sports events. These elements include stakeholder representation, loyalty issues, networks of influence, and competing economical, financial and institutional interests. As a next step, the group will identify best practices to address and manage different types of conflicts of interests linked to the awarding of major sporting events.

Task Force 3 is in the process of developing good governance indicators on the three specific areas of term limits, financial transparency and management of conflicts of interests. The aim is to provide a common benchmark recognised by both public authorities and sports organisations which can be used when adopting charters or evaluation tools on good governance. This Task Force is building on work already performed by ASOIF.

The next IPACS Working Group meeting is scheduled for December 2018 in London, where the first concrete results of the Task Forces’ work should be discussed. 

Click here for the list of participants at the IPACS Working Group meeting in Lausanne on 29 June 2018.

Click here to read the full IOC press release.