The Secretariat of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS) participated in the 8th Steering Committee meeting of the International Partnership Against Corruption on Sport (IPACS), held on 8 November 2022 in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The objectives of the meeting were to present the work of IPACS, assess its progress and discuss the next steps. In particular, the four IPACS Task Forces presented the outcomes of their respective work on Reducing the Risk of Corruption in Procurement, Integrity and Major Sport Events, Good Governance and Co-operation between law enforcement and criminal justice authorities and sports organisations.
Sophie Kwasny, Executive Secretary of EPAS, presented the Sport Governance Benchmark prepared by Task Force 3, which is coordinated and supported by the Council of Europe. This ambitious and comprehensive benchmark is recognised by both the international sports movement and governments, and applicable at international and national levels. It focuses on five dimensions: Transparency, Integrity, Democracy, Development and Solidarity, and Checks and Balance/Control Mechanisms. To accompany the benchmark, Task Force 3 developed guidelines for each dimension to support national and international sports organisations in the practical implementation of good governance.
The Steering Committee meeting was the occasion for all IPACS stakeholders to take stock of this important work and look into the next steps aimed at promoting the Guidelines to national public authorities and to international and national sports organisations. Other items on the agenda included the expansion of the membership of the Steering Committee and the launch of a new IPACS initiative, the Frontline Criminal Justice and Sport (Frontrunners) Network.
IPACS is an informal network bringing together intergovernmental organisations, international sports organisations and governments, combining the efforts of the various stakeholders in the fight against corruption in the governance of sport. It came about based on the knowledge that corruption in sport is a complicated and trans-border phenomenon, requiring urgent concerted effort at the international level between governments, intergovernmental organisations and sports organisations.
EPAS’s commitment to promote integrity in sport governance stems from Article 8.1.c of the Revised European Sports Charter: “‘Sport integrity’ encompasses the components of personal, competitive and organisational integrity. Threats to sports integrity include criminal offences such as corruption, fraud and coercion, but also violations of statutory and disciplinary regulations and unethical behaviour. The pursuit of sport integrity should thus commit all stakeholders and […] inspire a governance of sport that is compliant with the principles of transparency, integrity, democracy, development and solidarity, which should be secured by checks and balances and control mechanisms.”