A key pillar of the OECD Oslo Dialogue is strengthening the capacity of criminal tax investigators to tackle illicit financial flows and the OECD International Academy for Tax Crime Investigation is a critical part of this initiative. The programme greatly improves the ability of developing countries to detect and investigate financial crimes, and recover the proceeds of those crimes, by developing the skills of tax and financial crime investigators through intensive training courses.
The Pilot Conducting Financial Investigations (Foundation Programme) was held in April 2013 and a Pilot Managing Financial Investigations (Intermediate Programme) in December 2014. With the overwhelming success of these Programmes, the first centre for the Academy was established on 17 June 2014, at the Guardia di Finanza Scuola di Polizia Tributaria in Ostia, Italy. Now over 250 investigators from 59 countries have received training as part of this initiative.
Outline of the International Academy Programmes
The Academy Programmes are structured around a number of modules, which are taught through a combination of lectures, group discussions, practical exercises and course participant presentations.
Conducting Financial Investigations (Foundation Programme)
In this two week programme, participants will acquire a thorough understanding of the key skills required for conducting financial investigations, including the ability to follow the money through complex financial arrangements and how to effectively use sophisticated techniques to identify links between suspects and their illicit activities.
Managing Financial Investigations (Intermediate Programme)
This three week, more advanced programme on managing financial investigations is primarily focused on participants with managerial or supervisory responsibility. The modules offered include leadership skills; effectively managing limited resources; international evidence; prosecutorial and investigative challenges; threats and risks assessments; illicit flows, including complex money laundering and the challenges of bribery and corruption cases; best practices and international initiatives.
VAT/GST Fraud (Specialty Programme)
This one week Specialty Programme on Value Added Tax (VAT) / Goods and Services Tax (GST) fraud is intended for investigators and/or managers with experience in the investigation and prosecution of VAT/GST frauds. The Programme explores the threats and risk assessment around various types of VAT/GST fraud, investigative techniques and their challenges and best practices, asset seizures and the money laundering issues associated with VAT/GST fraud, as well as prosecution challenges and best practices.
Asset Recovery: Freezing and Seizing Assets (Specialty Programme)
This one week Specialty Programme on Asset Recovery: Freezing and Seizing Assets is intended for investigators and/or managers with experience in freezing and seizing assets resulting from the investigation of tax crimes and other financial crimes. The Programme will provide an overview of the legal measures associated with asset recovery, explore the use of restraining orders, consider both conviction based and non-conviction based confiscation of assets from the proceeds of crime, and provide a snapshot of international asset recovery initiatives, as well as the challenges and best practices in this field.
Preliminary results of the International Academy Programmes
Countries that participated in the Academy Programmes have reported significant benefits, including legislative changes to combat tax evasion and money laundering, enhanced inter-agency and international co-operation, and a greater capacity to fight illicit flows.
Please contact the OECD Secretariat (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information on the Academy or to request an application form for one of our training programmes.