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Argentina

Capital

Buenos Aires

Territory

2,736,690km²

Population (2020)

45,376,763

GDP Total (2020)

383.1B USD

GDP Per Capita (2020)

8,442 USD

Icome Group

Upper middle income

Convention Implementation

75.2
Implemented

Western Hemisphere Ranking

60.7

2nd of 31 countries

South America Ranking

63.2

1st of 12 countries

Corruption Resilience

60.4
Moderately Resilient

Western Hemisphere Ranking

54.4

13th of 31 countries

South America Ranking

53.9

4th of 12 countries

Convention Implementation

Score by thematic sections and measures

Prevention

In progress
53.1

Western Hemisphere 46.3

South America 47.3

Standards of Conduct

Core-deficient
33.5

Western Hemisphere 42.8

South America 48.0

Enforcement of Standards of Conduct

In progress
57.8

Western Hemisphere 50.6

South America 58.7

Training of Public Officials

In progress
62.5

Western Hemisphere 36.8

South America 44.5

Asset and Conflicts of Interests Declarations

In progress
54.6

Western Hemisphere 42.3

South America 45.8

Transparency in Government Contracting

Core-deficient
34.3

Western Hemisphere 33.1

South America 40.3

Elimination of Favorable Tax Treatment

In progress
57.8

Western Hemisphere 47.1

South America 49.2

Oversight Bodies

Core-deficient
39.8

Western Hemisphere 36.0

South America 37.6

Measures to Deter Domestic and Foreign Bribery

In progress
50.7

Western Hemisphere 36.7

South America 40.6

Encouraging Participation by Civil Society

Implemented
92.1

Western Hemisphere 43.0

South America 52.8

Study of Other Prevention Measures

In progress
47.6

Western Hemisphere 44.9

South America 48.1

Criminalization and law enforcement

Implemented
73.8

Western Hemisphere 61.1

South America 64.1

Protection of Those who Report Acts of Corruption

In progress
51.5

Western Hemisphere 30.7

South America 34.8

Scope

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 67.7

South America 75

Jurisdiction: Offense-in-Territory

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 74.6

South America 77.8

Jurisdiction: Offense-by-National

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 51.9

South America 62.6

Jurisdiction: Offender-in-Territory

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 58.8

South America 79.1

Passive Public Bribery

In progress
50.7

Western Hemisphere 55.8

South America 55.3

Active Public Bribery

In progress
50.7

Western Hemisphere 56.4

South America 55.3

Abuse of Functions

In progress
57.8

Western Hemisphere 47.0

South America 48.4

Money Laundering

In progress
57.8

Western Hemisphere 55.8

South America 54.3

Participation and Attempt

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 58.4

South America 56.4

Active Foreign Bribery

In progress
59.3

Western Hemisphere 39.0

South America 34.4

Illicit Enrichment

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 54.7

South America 59.2

Use of State Property

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 79.5

South America 85.5

Illicit Acquisition of a Benefit

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 52.1

South America 59.5

Public Embezzlement

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 77.6

South America 83.2

Passive Foreign Bribery

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 25.6

South America 22.0

Private Bribery

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 22.7

South America 26.4

Private Embezzlement

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 64.7

South America 70.4

Obstruction of Justice

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 71.4

South America 79.1

Liability of Legal Persons

Not Implemented
6.2

Western Hemisphere 61.3

South America 60.6

Statute of Limitations

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 79.6

South America 84.3

Prosecution, Adjudication and Sanctions

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 69.5

South America 71.2

Consequences and Compensation

In progress
57.8

Western Hemisphere 70.3

South America 77.4

Cooperation With Law Enforcement

In progress
53.1

Western Hemisphere 72.2

South America 72.9

Asset Recovery

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 66.4

South America 68.4

International cooperation

Implemented
92.3

Western Hemisphere 68.9

South America 72.5

Assistance Without Criminalization

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 79.8

South America 82.8

Inclusion in Extradition Treaties

Implemented
74.2

Western Hemisphere 55.1

South America 55.3

Convention as Legal Basis for Extradition

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 47.5

South America 55.2

Automatic Application Without Treaty

Implemented
78.1

Western Hemisphere 52.7

South America 54.9

Prosecution Without Extradition

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 57.2

South America 58.7

Custody

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 73.4

South America 70.1

Assistance

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 58.0

South America 64.6

Impossibility of Claiming Bank Secrecy

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 84.0

South America 86.3

Limited Use of Information

Implemented
89.0

Western Hemisphere 82.6

South America 89.5

Nature of Act

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 84.3

South America 83.3

Designate Central Authorities

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 75.9

South America 86.5

Responsibilities of Central Authorities

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 71.5

South America 74.9

Communication Between Central Authorities

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 67.3

South America 78.3

Special Investigative Techniques

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 56.9

South America 52.0

Technical Cooperation

Implemented
71.8

Western Hemisphere 62.8

South America 78.3

Anti-corruption conventions timeline

199619971998199920002001200220032004200520062007200820092010201120122013201420152016201720182019202020212022

Conventions

  • IACAC - Inter-American Convention Against Corruption
  • UNCAC - United Nations Convention against Corruption
  • OECD Anti-Bribery Convention

Key events

  • Signed
  • Ratifed / acceded
  • Review rounds

Convention Implementation Analysis

Argentina signed the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption (IACAC) on March 29, 1996, and ratified it on August 4, 1997. The country has been a State Party to the Follow-Up Mechanism for the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC) since June 4, 2001. Argentina also signed the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) on December 10, 2003, and subsequently ratified it on August 28, 2006. Argentina is also party to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention (OECD-ABC), having signed it on December 17, 1997, and deposited the instrument of ratification on February 8, 2001. Accordingly, Argentina has undergone five rounds of review under MESICIC, one round of review under the UNCAC review mechanism, and three phases of evaluation by the OECD Working Group on Bribery. Argentina’s record in implementing its commitments to IACAC, UNCAC and OECD-ABC exhibits a large number of successes and very few failures. With an overall score of 75.2, the adopted measures place the country at the higher point of compliance with international norms, followed by Peru (72.3) and Colombia (74.2), and second only to Costa Rica (76.3). Despite this degree of success, progress in implementation is slightly skewed—while the measures pertaining to international cooperation and criminalization and law enforcement are found to be either implemented or in progress, the few cases of failure are found exclusively within the preventive section.

The prevention of corruption is classified as “in progress” by its average score and with prominent measures given a score above 50—i.e., systems for registering asset and conflict of interests' declarations, enforcement of standards of conduct, and training of public officials. A large majority of preventive measures are considered to be in progress, and Argentina’s actions encouraging the participation of civil society are assessed as almost fully implemented. Within this section, only three measures fall far from the target—standards of conduct (33.5), transparency in government contracting (34.3), and the state of oversight bodies (39.8). These are the only three measures for which Argentina received a “core-deficient” score.

In terms of criminalization and law enforcement, Argentina shows strong results. The country is found to have fully implemented over half of its commitments, criminalizing illicit enrichment and embezzlement in the public and private sectors, among other actions. However, key measures remain in progress, such as those pertaining to active and passive bribery in the public sector and the protection of whistleblowers. Other measures are also “in progress” due to weaknesses in data production; these include actions against the abuse of functions, money laundering, and the active bribery of foreign public officials.

While these results and the average section score reflect the fact that Argentina has achieved modest success in the implementation of its commitments in the criminalization of corruption, a few significant issues remain. Three prominent measures found to be completely or mostly lacking are: the passive bribery of foreign public officials (0.0), the liability of legal persons (6.3) (both required by UNCAC and OECD-ABC) and bribery in the private sector (0.0) (required by UNCAC). Although obstacles to the successful implementation and enforcement of preventive anti-corruption measures are not solely found in Argentina, the issue is worth emphasizing in order to contextualize the overall score obtained by the country in this section.

Finally, Argentina is found fully compliant in its commitments to establish jurisdiction over the offenses covered by the conventions, including those that have been committed inside its territory, committed by a national, or when the offender is present in its territory, among other required forms. The country’s active implementation of its commitments regarding international cooperation is another point worth highlighting, with almost all measures within this section receiving an “implemented” score of various degrees—from inclusion of corruption offenses in extradition treaties (74.2) to the use of special investigative techniques (100.0)—the sole exception being Argentina’s technical cooperation, which was penalized due to insufficient information on its enforcement yet still accomplished a reasonably high score (71.9).

Corruption Resilience

Score by indicator

Social Context

Resilient
72.5

Western Hemisphere 64.8

South America 64.2

Quality of Government

Moderately Resilient
60.9

Western Hemisphere 50.6

South America 52.4

Rule of Law

Moderately Resilient
58.9

Western Hemisphere 51.1

South America 50.7

Business Stability

Moderately Resilient
47.4

Western Hemisphere 50.5

South America 48.1

Violence & Security

Moderately Resilient
62.2

Western Hemisphere 55.0

South America 54.4

Corruption Resilience score over the time

Analysis

Over the last decade, Argentina’s social context indicator ranged from a low of 69.84 in 2013 to a high of 74.28 in 2017. Between 2019 and 2020, the indicator score decreased by 0.45 points—resulting in a score of 72.56—and still remained 7.67 points above the Western Hemisphere average for 2020. This was largely due to the country’s successful safeguarding of civil liberties and political freedoms which are protected under Argentinian law. Other factors influencing the score included the decriminalization of slander and libel in 2009, and periodic instances of court sanctioned censorship for media outlets investigating or reporting political corruption within the country.

In terms of the quality of governance and institutions, Argentina’s score of 60.90 is 10.27 points above the regional average of 50.63 for 2020—falling within the 75th percentile. Since 2010, Argentina’s quality of governance score has fluctuated between a low of 47.45 in 2012 and a high of 61.21 in 2018. Argentina’s quality of governance and institutions score was primarily influenced by the country’s effective safeguarding of fundamental rights but concerns over constraints on government power remain—particularly in regard to maintaining impartiality.

Argentina’s rule of law indicator score was primarily influenced by concerns over the impartiality of lower courts, the influence of political actors, and the overburdened court system. Across the rule of law indicator, Argentina’s score has steadily increased since 2010—exceeding the regional average of 51.15 for 2020 by 7.78 points—however, the country still remains within the threshold of the 50th percentile. In terms of business stability, Argentina’s indicator score experienced a slight increase of 0.06 points in 2020—resulting in a score of 47.40—but remains 3.06 points below the average of Western Hemisphere countries.

Over the last decade, the country’s business stability indicator has steadily albeit gradually increased from a low of 32.07 in 2015. The factors influencing Argentina’s score include inefficiencies within the regulatory system, government transparency in policymaking, property rights, and rule-based governance regarding businesses. Lastly, the violence and security indicators for Argentina reflected a score of 62.24 in 2020—which was substantially higher than the regional average of 55.04—and generally fluctuated between a low of 47.25 in 2011 and a high of 67.06 in 2013. A key factor influencing this score has been Argentina’s steadily declining homicide rate, which as of 2020, is the lowest the country has recorded in 7 years.

Transparency Record

Main Reporting NGO

Asociacion Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia (ACIJ)

Report date

Jul-2021

Review year

2017-2018

Document reviewed

Full Report

language

English

Did the government make public the contact details before the country focal point? No
Was civil society consulted in preparation for the self-assessment? No
Was civil society invited to provide information to the official reviewers? No
Was the self-assessment published online or provided to CSOs? Yes

The second civil society parallel review report was authored by Asociacion Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia (ACIJ) and highlighted the country’s progress (and limitations) in implementing the articles within chapters II and IV of the UNCAC. The lack of available information continued to pose significant obstacles in the country’s successful implementation of the UNCAC. Complete and accurate information could not be obtained from national agencies, and this included the Anti-Corruption Office. Instead, the ACIJ consulted legal documents and reports that were authored by various public agencies, international organizations, or civil society organizations, which were scattered across multiple websites. In terms of the legal framework, most UNCAC articles remained partially implemented while few had been largely integrated. The enforcement system continued to face inconsistencies in implementation across several categories, namely those of establishing preventive anti-corruption bodies, public sector employment, political financing, within the participation of the society, and in enhancing measures to prevent money laundering.

The ACIJ emphasized that the lack of accessible and available information, especially in terms of data necessary for the review process, must be addressed. The organization recommended that information on the country’s focal point, and self-assessment documents, be published on the Anti-Corruption Bureau’s website. Moreover, the ACIJ called for the organization of civil society briefings on the review process and for status updates regarding the country’s compliance with the UNCAC. They recommended that the country provide control bodies with autonomy and establish the necessary mechanisms to ensure their effectivity and independence. Moreover, Argentina was asked to strengthen control systems both externally and internally, adapt legislation to reflect international standards in the criminalization and prevention of corruption, and strengthen the public employment system to include a transparent process for entry and promotion through the use of competitive examinations.