INTERPOL on December 2, 2011 released the following:
“Successfully tackling corruption requires forward focus
LYON, France – FIFA’s decision to establish an Independent Governance Committee and to appoint Professor Mark Pieth, a globally-recognized expert in corruption investigations, to head the Committee, should be applauded. Mark Pieth has an impeccable reputation and has dedicated most of his professional life to fighting corruption in all of its forms. INTERPOL considers the decision by FIFA to create the Independent Governance Committee as a very positive and most appropriate step.
Some have raised questions about the appropriateness of Professor Pieth being paid by FIFA to undertake this assignment. Although it is important for the public to know who is responsible for paying the costs of Professor Pieth’s important work, of more significance are the mandate and authority provided to ensure this work is carried out in a professional, unbiased and independent manner.
If FIFA and others are to benefit from the knowledge and advice of those who are experts in their fields, provisions must be made to compensate them appropriately. Indeed, the failure to do so would mean that only the wealthy or the inexperienced would be able to undertake these most challenging and demanding assignments.
It is mistaken to believe that because compensation is being paid that the outcome of a review has been predetermined or compromised. The questions should be whether the best person has been identified, whether they have the necessary knowledge and experience and whether they have a reputation for seeking and speaking the truth.
Throughout the world, independent commissions or committees have often been established and paid for by governments and corporations, either to examine what went wrong in the past or to develop or recommend programmes, policies and rules for the future.
It is clear that forward-looking anti-corruption commissions have an important role to perform. For example, Paul Volcker who last year received the Transparency International/USA Integrity Award was hired by the UN to Chair the United Nations Oil for Food investigation. Dick Thornburgh, former Governor of Pennsylvania and US Attorney General, was retained by the World Bank to evaluate the effectiveness of the internal anti-corruption programme. Michael J. Hershman, the co-founder of Transparency International, was retained by Siemens to serve as the Independent Compliance Advisor to the Board of Directors and to help the company develop a new corporate governance and compliance strategy.
As the former Head of Section – Economic and Organised Crime at the Swiss Federal Office of Justice; Chairman of the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions; Member of the Integrity Advisory Board of The World Bank Group; Board member of the World Economic Forum’s Partnering Against Corruption Initiative; Member of the Independent Inquiry Committee into the Iraq Oil-for-Food Programme; and Professor of Criminal Law and Criminology at the University of Basel, Switzerland, it would be difficult to have found a more qualified person than Mark Pieth to head FIFA’s Independent Governance Committee.
INTERPOL can speak with experience that it is possible to have FIFA fund an activity and for that activity to be run with complete independence. FIFA has funded a 10-year programme worth EUR 20 million whereby INTERPOL has been given complete independence in designing a forward-looking capacity building and training programme to prevent and reduce match fixing and illegal betting in football.
In the end the success of the Independent Governance Committee will depend on what it does and how it does it. Simply stated, actions speak louder than anyone else’s words. Professor Mark Pieth’s experience, record and personal integrity should provide us all with ample reason to conclude that, under his stewardship, FIFA’s Independent Governance Committee will succeed.”
Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
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