Mapping the UK’s approach to tackling corruption and illicit financial flows

The UK has an important role to play in international efforts to tackle corruption in developing countries – but the government’s domestic approach and the rapidly-changing nature of the threat are among six potential future ‘lines of enquiry’ identified in this information note.

  1. Status: Completed
  2. Published: 19 March 2020
  3. Type: Information note
  4. Subject: Anti-corruption, tax avoidance and fiduciary risk
  5. Assessment: Unrated
  6. Lead commissioner: Sir Hugh Bayley
  7. SDGs covered:Peace, justice and strong institutions

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ICAI published this information note on the UK’s approach to tackling corruption and illicit financial flows in March 2020 and the IDC held a hearing on the issues raised in November 2020.


Corruption and illicit financial flows are major obstacles to tackling national and international development challenges such as the fight against climate change or the pursuit of sustainable peace and security. Corruption inhibits inclusive growth and jobs, and damages the fabric of society by reducing trust and denying citizens’ access to essential services – for example, by inflating the price of pharmaceuticals beyond the reach of new mothers and infants or reducing crop prices for independent farmers.

This information note was commissioned in 2019 by the House of Commons’ International Development Committee (IDC) for its inquiry into Sustainable Development Goal 16.  It describes the UK aid programme’s current approach, and proposes lines of enquiry for potential future investigation by the committee, ICAI or other interested stakeholders.

It does not reach evaluative judgments on any specific aid programmes, but instead recommends six future areas for possible follow-up.

Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals relevant to this review are:

  • Sustainable Development Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions



Published 12 August 2019

Evidence gathering


Information note publication

Published 19 March 2020

Parliamentary scrutiny

IDC hearing 23 November 2020