The Global Operational Network of Anti-Corruption Law Enforcement Authorities (GlobE Network) has been officially launched in Vienna. 

Also known as the Riyadh Initiative, it was driven out of Saudi Arabia's presidency of the G20 during 2020 and aims to "provide a quick, agile and efficient tool for facilitating transnational cooperation in combating corruption, and to strengthen communication exchange and peer learning between independent anti-corruption law enforcement authorities, while complementing and coordinating with relevant international cooperation platforms."

Working under the umbrella of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) it currently has members including: 

  • the World Bank;
  • the International Monetary Fund (IMF);
  • the Financial Action Task Force (FATF);
  • the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units;
  • the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); and
  • all G20 countries.

The intention is that it will provide: 

  1. a network/community for anti-corruption professionals and investigators to share good practice, develop trusted partnerships and encourage international cooperation;
  2. a virtual hub for secure peer to peer information exchange, intelligence and anti-corruption tools ; and
  3. knowledge and capacity building by offering training, strategies and toolkits to help combat corruption.

The Riyadh Initiative has received significant support, including funding, from Saudi Arabia and is closely aligned with both the country's Vision 2030 program and the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).

For companies in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, it would be reasonable to expect an increased regional focus on anti-corruption measures and decreased tolerance towards corrupt business practices. 

The Riyadh Initiative's official launch should therefore serve as a clarion call for companies to reassess any corruption risk they are exposed to. This should include reviewing their own operational environment, their extended business environment, for example subsidiaries, affiliates, joint ventures and agents, and their supply chain to help determine if controls are robust enough to help mitigate corruption risk. 

If you would like some help to review your anti-corruption controls environment, please  contact Neal Ysart, Lead Regulatory & Investigations Advisor  at   /  Tel: +971 55 138 9250  or your usual Clyde & Co point of contact.