STATUTORY REVIEW OF OPERATION OF ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING LAWS ANNOUNCED  

In December, the Federal Minister for Justice, Michael Keenan, announced a review of Australia’s Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Finance (AML / CTF) regime. The Terms of Reference for the review are wide-reaching. The review will be guided by seven guiding principles and provides an opportunity to identify and examine ‘gaps’ in the operation of the regime. It will consider the operation of Australia’s AML / CTF regime and whether there is need for the ongoing operation of certain pieces of legislation, the appropriateness of policy objectives, and whether the regime achieves such policy objectives. This review will overlap with an international evaluation of Australia’s AML/CTF regime in 2014. The closing date for submissions is 28 February 2014 and the final report is expected in 2015.   

TI: AUSTRALIA MUST DO MORE TO FIGHT CORRUPTION

In December, Transparency International released its updated Corruption Perception Index (CPI). According to Transparency International, Australian’s CPI ranking fell slightly from 7 out of 176 to 9 out of 177 countries. The CPI is calculated by Transparency International annually based on how corrupt a country’s public sector is perceived to be. The increased activity of ICAC and Obeid-related hearings may have contributed to Australia’s marginally lower rank in 2013. Now that Australia has taken over the presidency of the G20, there is scope for Australia to lead the anti-corruption push by keeping it firmly on the G20 agenda and by targeting areas where corruption flourishes such as public procurement. In the meantime, Ministers could raise the profile of anti-corruption by asking business leaders about the measures they are taking to address corruption risks in their organisations.