An Independent Anti-Corruption Authority Expected by April?

Leo Olivero

I know for fact, that many people are concerned about corruption. Even how many millions of pounds are lost to corruption. Together Gibraltar during last year’s election campaign declared that in their estimation the. cost of corruption on the Gibraltar economy was between £59 million and £117 million. The Government is also concerned about corruption and has already made a cast iron commitment to do something about it within a very short period of time. 

Readers are probably thinking by now, where I came up with the title of this report? In fact, it comes directly from the GSLP/Liberal 2019 manifesto. In a specific time-sensitive commitment to the electorate. The Government unequivocally committed themselves in establishing “a totally independent Anti-Corruption Authority within six months of the election” that explicit six-month time-sensitive commitment is up to on the 17 April, two months from now!

It will be interesting to learn how the make-up of this important Independent body is actually going to take shape?

In fact, this is what the three political parties who took part in the election had to say in their respective manifestos regarding Corruption:

GSLP/Liberals Government

In 2011, we were criticised for having committed to the establishment of an Anti-Corruption Authority in Gibraltar, on the basis that this already existed. When we came into Government we reviewed the matter and the advice given was that the potential powers of such an Authority were already held and exercised by the Royal Gibraltar Police and the Attorney General’s Chambers. A GSLP/Liberal Government will nonetheless formally designate an anti-corruption authority for Gibraltar. See more details under ‘Justice’ in this manifesto.

In Government, we were asked by the RGP to allow them to retain responsibility for these matters, and we reflected that in our last manifesto. Now, given that there have been suggestions by others that such an independent Anti-Corruption Authority should be created, we believe it is important for transparency that the incumbent Government should not stand in the way of the establishment of such an authority. We will therefore now, as we said we would, establish a totally independent Anti-Corruption Authority within six months of the election…as we had proposed in 2011, the Authority will have the right to investigate matters as from 1988. This will also demonstrate our confidence that the GSLP Liberal Government acts entirely properly at all times and in all respects.


Anti- Corruption Practices -The Commissioner For Standards: Public contracts are extremely valuable and sometimes incur hundreds of thousands or millions of pounds of expenditure. That system for the award and supervision of contracts must also see a tier of independent review in case of any possible wrong-doing by any person along the chain. We will therefore ‘ensure that the independent Commission for Standards that we will set up’ has power and tools to investigate any allegations of misuse of public monies, fraud or corruption in respect of public contracts or misfeasance in public office.

Together Gibraltar

Corruption costs the Gibraltar economy between £59m and £117m a year. Ultimately, this diverts money from providing public services. Corruption, cronyism and nepotism are neither ethical nor sustainable. All may appear well until times of economic stress. Eventually, the system fails and collapses like a house of cards. Together Gibraltar is committed to root out corruption. We will spend a minimum of £ 25m over the next 4 years towards eradication of corruption, with a first-year commitment of £10 million ‘for the creation of an Anti-Corruption Commission’. By effectively combatting corruption, there will be savings to the economy of between £200m to £400m over four years which will be reinvested in measures to improve quality of life such as health, care and welfare, the environment, job quality, and education designed to provide the skills needed to sustainably grow the economy.