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House of Commons Hansard
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Afghanistan: Corruption
29 March 2010
Volume 508
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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether his Department has commissioned or assessed any internal or external reports on the effectiveness of its work to tackle corruption in Afghanistan. [301940]

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The Department for International Development (DFID) is contributing £6 million to the Accountability and Transparency (ACT) project managed by the United Nations Development Programme. ACT provides support to the Afghan anti-corruption watchdog, the High Office of Oversight. The project has been in operation for less than one year and so no formal assessment has yet been completed.

In May 2009, DFID and other partners undertook six “Vulnerabilities to Corruption Assessments”, the results of which are available at:

http://siteresources.worldbank.org/AFGHANISTANEXTN/Resources/305984-1237085035526/5919769-1249254211329/VCAsSummaryReportFinalJuly172009.pdf.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department is taking to combat corruption in Afghanistan. [301941]

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The Department for International Development (DFID) leads the HMG Multi-Agency Task Force (MATF), established as the primary means of ensuring UK anti-corruption work is well co-ordinated internally, with major donors and Afghan and international civil society organisations. Through the MATF, the UK is taking the following actions:

We are providing £6 million to UNDP's Accountability and Transparency Project, making us the largest supporter of the High Office of Oversight (HOO). The UK will work with the HOO and responsible line Ministries on reform of the public procurement system and Government permits, especially for construction.

We are providing mentors to help make the Major Crimes Task Force (MCTF) a transparent and effective 'end to end' judicial process handling cases of kidnap, organised crime and the most serious corruption offences.

We will continue to provide training, mentoring and salary support for prosecutors working within the Anti Corruption Unit of the MCTF and will help establish an Anti Corruption Tribunal.

Reconstruction contracts issued by DFID already contain 'no bribery' clauses that apply equally to all contractors and subcontractors. Our commitment to investigate any international contracted by the UK Government and suspected of corruption remains unchanged.

The London Conference on Afghanistan, in January 2010, provided increased momentum in the fight against corruption. We are working with the international community to support the Afghan Government in delivering its new anti-corruption strategy.