New anti-corruption measures for foreign companies seeking government work
Foreign companies bidding to secure UK government contracts will have to disclose who their beneficial owners are under new plans to tackle corruption.
A new process of “open contracting” is set to be announced at the global anti-corruption summit convened by David Cameron which begins tomorrow, the Times reports.
Foreign companies buying land or property will also have to disclose their beneficial ownership, under the new plans.
Ministers will also pledge the same enforcement in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – subject to discussion with the devolved governments.
The public registration of property owners and contract bidders could also be enforced retrospectively under plans being considered by government lawyers.
Ahead of the summit Mr Cameron has argued tackling corruption should be at the “top of the international agenda”.
World leaders and figures from sport and the charity sector will congregate at Lancaster House on Thursday for the inaugural event.
The Prime Minister hopes to secure pledges for stronger punitive action on corruption and commitments to crack down on the issue.
Mr Cameron described corruption is the “root of so many of the world's problems" and “an enemy of progress”.
Ahead of the summit, he added: "It destroys jobs and holds back economic growth, traps the poorest in desperate poverty, and undermines our security by pushing people towards extremist groups."
"The battle against corruption will not be won overnight. It will take time, courage and determination to deliver the reforms that are necessary. But we cannot hope to solve the major global challenges we face without tackling the exploitation, fraud and dishonesty at their heart.
"For too long there has been a taboo about tackling this issue head-on. The summit will change that. Together we will push the fight against corruption to the top of the international agenda where it belongs."
Russian deputy foreign minister Oleg Syromolotov, Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, and Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg are among those expected to attend.
Campaigners are also calling for commitments to act on tax havens in the wake of the Panama Papers leak.