< Back to H.R. 4697 (106th Congress, 1999–2000)

Text of the International Anti-Corruption and Good Governance Act of 2000

This bill was introduced in a previous session of Congress and was passed by the House on July 25, 2000 but was never passed by the Senate. The text of the bill below is as of Jul 26, 2000 (Referred to Senate Committee).

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HR 4697 RFS

106th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4697

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

jULY 26, 2000

Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations


AN ACT

To amend the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to ensure that United States assistance programs promote good governance by assisting other countries to combat corruption throughout society and to promote transparency and increased accountability for all levels of government and throughout the private sector.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘International Anti-Corruption and Good Governance Act of 2000’.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.

    (a) FINDINGS- The Congress finds the following:

      (1) Widespread corruption endangers the stability and security of societies, undermines democracy, and jeopardizes the social, political, and economic development of a society.

      (2) Corruption facilitates criminal activities, such as money laundering, hinders economic development, inflates the costs of doing business, and undermines the legitimacy of the government and public trust.

      (3) In January 1997 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution urging member states to carefully consider the problems posed by the international aspects of corrupt practices and to study appropriate legislative and regulatory measures to ensure the transparency and integrity of financial systems.

      (4) The United States was the first country to criminalize international bribery through the enactment of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 and United States leadership was instrumental in the passage of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Convention on Combatting Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

      (5) The Vice President, at the Global Forum on Fighting Corruption in 1999, declared corruption to be a direct threat to the rule of law and the Secretary of State declared corruption to be a matter of profound political and social consequence for our efforts to strengthen democratic governments.

      (6) The Secretary of State, at the Inter-American Development Bank’s annual meeting in March 2000, declared that despite certain economic achievements, democracy is being threatened as citizens grow weary of the corruption and favoritism of their official institutions and that efforts must be made to improve governance if respect for democratic institutions is to be regained.

      (7) In May 1996 the Organization of American States (OAS) adopted the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption requiring countries to provide various forms of international cooperation and assistance to facilitate the prevention, investigation, and prosecution of acts of corruption.

      (8) Independent media, committed to fighting corruption and trained in investigative journalism techniques, can both educate the public on the costs of corruption and act as a deterrent against corrupt officials.

      (9) Competent and independent judiciary, founded on a merit-based selection process and trained to enforce contracts and protect property rights, is critical for creating a predictable and consistent environment for transparency in legal procedures.

      (10) Independent and accountable legislatures, responsive political parties, and transparent electoral processes, in conjunction with professional, accountable, and transparent financial management and procurement policies and procedures, are essential to the promotion of good governance and to the combat of corruption.

      (11) Transparent business frameworks, including modern commercial codes and intellectual property rights, are vital to enhancing economic growth and decreasing corruption at all levels of society.

      (12) The United States should attempt to improve accountability in foreign countries, including by--

        (A) promoting transparency and accountability through support for independent media, promoting financial disclosure by public officials, political parties, and candidates for public office, open budgeting processes, adequate and effective internal control systems, suitable financial management systems, and financial and compliance reporting;

        (B) supporting the establishment of audit offices, inspectors general offices, third party monitoring of government procurement processes, and anti-corruption agencies;

        (C) promoting responsive, transparent, and accountable legislatures that ensure legislative oversight and whistle-blower protection;

        (D) promoting judicial reforms that criminalize corruption and promoting law enforcement that prosecutes corruption;

        (E) fostering business practices that promote transparent, ethical, and competitive behavior in the private sector through the development of an effective legal framework for commerce, including anti-bribery laws, commercial codes that incorporate international standards for business practices, and protection of intellectual property rights; and

        (F) promoting free and fair national, state, and local elections.

    (b) PURPOSE- The purpose of this Act is to ensure that United States assistance programs promote good governance by assisting other countries to combat corruption throughout society and to improve transparency and accountability at all levels of government and throughout the private sector.

SEC. 3. DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE POLICIES.

    (a) GENERAL POLICY- Section 101(a) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2151(a)) is amended in the fifth sentence--

      (1) by striking ‘four’ and inserting ‘five’;

      (2) in paragraph (3), by striking ‘and’ at the end;

      (3) in paragraph (4), by striking the period at the end and inserting ‘; and’; and

      (4) by adding at the end the following:

      ‘(5) the promotion of good governance through combating corruption and improving transparency and accountability.’ .

    (b) DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE POLICY- Paragraph (4) of the third sentence of section 102(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2151-1(b)) is amended--

      (1) in subparagraph (E), by striking ‘and’ at the end;

      (2) in subparagraph (F), by striking the period at the end and inserting ‘; and’; and

      (3) by adding at the end the following:

        ‘(G) progress in combating corruption and improving transparency and accountability in the public and private sector.’.

SEC. 4. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES.

    Section 129(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2151aa(b)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

      ‘(3) EMPHASIS ON ANTI-CORRUPTION- Such technical assistance shall include elements designed to combat anti-competitive, unethical and corrupt activities, including protection against actions that may distort or inhibit transparency in market mechanisms and, to the extent applicable, privatization procedures.’.

SEC. 5. AUTHORIZATION OF GOOD GOVERNANCE PROGRAMS.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Chapter 1 of part I of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2151 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

‘SEC. 131. PROGRAMS TO ENCOURAGE GOOD GOVERNANCE.

    ‘(a) ESTABLISHMENT OF PROGRAMS-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- The President is authorized to establish programs that combat corruption, improve transparency and accountability, and promote other forms of good governance in countries described in paragraph (2).

      ‘(2) COUNTRIES DESCRIBED- A country described in this paragraph is a country that is eligible to receive assistance under this part (including chapter 4 of part II of this Act) or the Support for East European Democracy (SEED) Act of 1989.

      ‘(3) PRIORITY- In carrying out paragraph (1), the President shall give priority to establishing programs in countries that received a significant amount of United States foreign assistance for the prior fiscal year, or in which the United States has a significant economic interest, and that continue to have the most persistent problems with public and private corruption. In determining which countries have the most persistent problems with public and private corruption under the preceding sentence, the President shall take into account criteria such as the Transparency International Annual Corruption Perceptions Index, standards and codes set forth by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Monetary Fund, and other relevant criteria.

      ‘(4) REQUIREMENT- Assistance provided for countries under programs established pursuant to paragraph (1) may be made available notwithstanding any other provision of law that restricts assistance to foreign countries (other than section 620A of this Act or any other comparable provision of law).

    ‘(b) SPECIFIC PROJECTS AND ACTIVITIES- The programs established pursuant to subsection (a) shall include, to the extent appropriate, projects and activities that--

      ‘(1) support responsible independent media to promote oversight of public and private institutions;

      ‘(2) implement financial disclosure among public officials, political parties, and candidates for public office, open budgeting processes, and transparent financial management systems;

      ‘(3) support the establishment of audit offices, inspectors general offices, third party monitoring of government procurement processes, and anti-corruption agencies;

      ‘(4) promote responsive, transparent, and accountable legislatures that ensure legislative oversight and whistle-blower protection;

      ‘(5) promote legal and judicial reforms that criminalize corruption and law enforcement reforms and development that encourage prosecutions of criminal corruption;

      ‘(6) assist in the development of a legal framework for commercial transactions that fosters business practices that promote transparent, ethical, and competitive behavior in the economic sector, such as commercial codes that incorporate international standards and protection of intellectual property rights;

      ‘(7) promote free and fair national, state, and local elections;

      ‘(8) foster public participation in the legislative process and public access to government information; and

      ‘(9) engage civil society in the fight against corruption.

    ‘(c) CONDUCT OF PROJECTS AND ACTIVITIES- Projects and activities under the programs established pursuant to subsection (a) may include, among other things, training and technical assistance (including drafting of anti-corruption, privatization, and competitive statutory and administrative codes), drafting of anti-corruption, privatization, and competitive statutory and administrative codes, support for independent media and publications, financing of the program and operating costs of nongovernmental organizations that carry out such projects or activities, and assistance for travel of individuals to the United States and other countries for such projects and activities.

    ‘(d) ANNUAL REPORT-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- The President shall prepare and transmit to the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate an annual report on--

        ‘(A) projects and activities carried out under programs established under subsection (a) for the prior year in priority countries identified pursuant to subsection (a)(3); and

        ‘(B) projects and activities carried out under programs to combat corruption, improve transparency and accountability, and promote other forms of good governance established under other provisions of law for the prior year in such countries.

      ‘(2) REQUIRED CONTENTS- The report required by paragraph (1) shall contain the following information with respect to each country described in paragraph (1):

        ‘(A) A description of all United States Government-funded programs and initiatives to combat corruption and improve transparency and accountability in the country.

        ‘(B) A description of United States diplomatic efforts to combat corruption and improve transparency and accountability in the country.

        ‘(C) An analysis of major actions taken by the government of the country to combat corruption and improve transparency and accountability in the country.

    ‘(e) FUNDING- Amounts made available to carry out the other provisions of this part (including chapter 4 of part II of this Act) and the Support for East European Democracy (SEED) Act of 1989 shall be made available to carry out this section.’.

    (b) DEADLINE FOR INITIAL REPORT- The initial annual report required by section 131(d)(1) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as added by subsection (a), shall be transmitted not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

Passed the House of Representatives July 25, 2000.

Attest:

Jeff Trandahl

Clerk.