International Partnership Against Corruption in Sport (IPACS)
What is IPACS?
IPACS (International Partnership Against Corruption in Sport) 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 international level between governments, interngovernmental organisations and sports organisations.
The partnership was founded in light of the following adopted declarations:
- the Anti-Corruption Summit organised by the UK Government in London (May 2016);
- the Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Sport (November 2016), and
- the International Forum for Sports Integrity organised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne (February 2017).
All of these events called for the setting up of an international discussion and co-ordination platform for governments, international organisations and the international sports movement.
How will IPACS work?
IPACS was established as an informal network, with no legal personality, no budget and no secretariat. It relies on the joint efforts of its partners who cover the travel costs of their own experts, taking turns to host and organise meetings.
The central body of IPACS is its Steering Committee (originally called Working Group) which is limited in size and which involves governmental representatives (from Argentina, China, France, Germany, Japan, South Africa, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States of America), international organisations (OECD, Council of Europe, UNODC, the Commonwealth) and international sports organisations (ANOC, ASOIF, IOC and GAISF).
The Steering Committee decides on new members joining, but guests may also be invited to certain meetings. The Working Group’s meetings are prepared by a restricted Core Group involving the founding partners of IPACS (CoE, IOC, OECD and the UK) as well as the UNODC.
The intention is that, in future, a plenary meeting will allow representatives from a larger number of governments, international organisations and sports organisations to be involved. The competence of the plenary (still to be defined) could be to approve the composition of the Steering Committee and the strategic approach of IPACS. The first plenary meeting could take place at the end of 2018 or the beginning of 2019.
What issues does IPACS address?
The priority given by the IPACS partners is not to turn it into an institution, but to work towards the completion of certain tasks which are aimed at improving co-ordination and measures taken to fight corruption in sports governance: with this in mind, three task forces have been set up to deal with the following concerns:
- Task force 1: how to reduce the risk of corruption in public procurement, in the context of major sports events (terms of reference, co-ordinated by the OECD)
- Task force 2: how to ensure transparency and integrity in the awarding process of sport events selection (terms of reference, co-ordinated by the OECD)
- Task force 3: how to promote the convergence of the existing good governance frameworks, starting from the critical measures that are relevant to mitigate the risk of corruption (terms of reference, co-ordinated by the Council of Europe/EPAS)
Although the manipulation of sports competitions can imply corrupt behaviour (eg. match-fixing), it is not covered by IPACS since it is already the subject of intergovernmental standards and co-ordinated sports regulations, and already has co-operation networks in place which are dedicated to the problem.
What is the Council of Europe’s role in IPACS?
The Council of Europe’s commitment within IPACS comes from its intergovernmental co-operation on sports policies (EPAS) and from GRECO, the monitoring body on anti-corruption policies. It will draw on its vast expertise in these two fields of policy work.
It is also committed to sharing information about IPACS with all its member states, in particular when conveying updates on IPACS activities to its committees of experts (Governing Board of EPAS, GRECO), to the Committee of Ministers and to Conferences of Ministers.
The Council of Europe provides a consultation framework on the action and positions defended by European government representatives within IPACS.
Last but not least, the Council of Europe has taken on the co-ordinator role of Task force 3.
Events during which IPACS will be presented in 2018
|24-26 January||International meeting on Sport for Social Inclusion and Development, Milan||Mary Crane-Charef (OECD)|
|30 January||SIGA Sport Integrity Forum, Rome||Nicola Bonucci (OECD)|
|22 February||Rapporteur Group on Education, Culture, Sport, Youth and Environment (GR-C), Strasbourg||Ralf Göbel, Deputy Director-general of Sport (Germany)|
|15-20 April||SportAccord Convention, Bangkok||Pâquerette Girard Zappelli (IOC)|
|14-15 May||Governing Board of EPAS, Strasbourg||Stanislas Frossard (CoE/EPAS)|
|29-30 May||OECD Forum||Nicola Bonucci (OECD)|
|18-22 June||Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), Strasbourg||Gianluca Esposito (CoE/GRECO)|
|16 October||Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Sport, Tbilisi||tbc|