GRECO, The Council of Europe’s Group of States again Corruption was established in 1999 by the Council of Europe to monitor States’ compliance with the organisation’s anti-corruption standards. GRECO’s objective is to improve the capacity of its members to fight corruption by monitoring their compliance with Council of Europe anti-corruption standards through a dynamic process of mutual evaluation and peer pressure. It helps to identify deficiencies in national anti-corruption policies, prompting the necessary legislative, institutional and practical reforms. GRECO also provides a platform for the sharing of best practice in the prevention and detection of corruption.
GRECO evaluation procedures involve the collection of information through questionnaire(s), on-site country visits enabling evaluation teams to solicit further information during high-level discussions with domestic key players, and drafting of evaluation reports. These reports, which are examined and adopted by GRECO, contain recommendations to the evaluated countries in order to improve their level of compliance with the provisions under consideration. Measures taken to implement recommendations are subsequently assessed by GRECO under a separate compliance procedure.
GRECO’s fifth round of evaluations is currently taking place. Ireland will be evaluated in late 2019/early 2020. The two themes for this evaluation are:-
- Preventing corruption and promoting integrity in central governments (top executive functions of the State such as Cabinet Ministers and Secretaries General);
- Preventing corruption and promoting integrity in law enforcement agencies (An Garda Síochána).
The issues that will be considered include ethical principles, rules of conduct, prohibition or restrictions on certain activities, declaration of assets, income, liabilities and interests, enforcement of the rules regarding conflicts of interest and awareness raising.