IIU discusses anti-corruption strategies with former EIB Deputy Head of Investigations

  • Article type News
  • Publication date 01 May 2024

On 30 April, the Independent Integrity Unit (IIU) held a webinar with former Deputy Head of Investigations at the European Investment Bank, Duncan Smith. Over an hour-long discussion, Duncan and IIU’s Chief of Investigations Hyung Tae Kim discussed tools to proactively address integrity risks, how small organisations can mitigate issues with limited resources, and the unique challenge of dealing with integrity risks at multilateral development banks. 

Much of the discussion focused on detecting and mitigating fraud and corruption in international finance institutions like multilateral development banks, as that was the focus of Duncan’s two books. One of the tools he talked about at length was proactive integrity reviews, which are assessments that can help identify weaknesses in a project and provide recommendations that can address integrity risks before they become a problem. Tools such as this that focus on prevention and deterrence can make it so there is “less of a risk that fraud or corruption can affect a project,” Ducan explained. 

Duncan also spoke at length about the integrity risk frameworks that organisations can have in place to detect and address potential issues, no matter the size of the organisation. Strong policies, he said, can help to minimise problems that organisations face. “Frauds start small and only expand if they are not prevented. So, if you discover a fraud, deal with it quickly, because if you ignore it, it will develop into something worse. Being proactive is important to address those gaps.”

Before working at the European Investment Bank, Duncan was at the United Kingdom's Serious Fraud Office and World Bank Investigations. He has written two books about fraud and corruption published by Springer, titled Promoting Integrity in the Work of International Organisations and Fraud and Corruption: Cases and Materials. He is currently working on a third book on money laundering. 

This talk was part of IIU’s signature event series called Integrity Talks. These sessions discuss integrity, transparency, and anti-corruption, and their impact on various aspects of climate action. Past events have featured Alan Bacarese, Director of Investigations, Strategy, and Operations at the World Bank Group’s Integrity Vice Presidency and Annemie Turtelboom, Dean of Chamber II at the European Court of Auditors.