On October 16-18, 2023, the ECOFEL assisted the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG) in successfully delivering its workshop on ‘Enhancing Interagency Cooperation Between FIUs and Other Competent Authorities (LEAs)’ in Seychelles.
During the workshop, participants discussed the importance of close cooperation between FIUs and LEAs, the barriers to effective cooperation, and practical solutions to overcome these barriers.
Please find below a set of best practices that emerged from the workshop. These practices are designed to strengthen collaboration and streamline collective efforts:
1. Designate Contact Points within FIUs and LEAs:
– Assign dedicated individuals within each organization to act as contact points. This facilitates smoother communication, ensures swift responses to information requests, and minimizes miscommunication.
2. Organize Periodic Formal and Informal Meetings:
– Schedule regular formal meetings for strategic planning, policy discussions, and structured updates. In addition, encourage informal gatherings to foster personal relationships, trust-building, and spontaneous idea exchanges.
3. Hold Joint Training Events:
– Facilitate joint training sessions to enhance mutual understanding. These events should cover both the organization’s processes, challenges, and investigative techniques, prompting knowledge sharing and teamwork.
4. Introduce LEA and/or FIU Liaison Officers:
– Appoint dedicated liaison officers within each organization. Their role is to bridge communication gaps, ensuring the seamless exchange of information and the successful execution of joint operations.
5. Develop Information Sharing Protocols:
– Create comprehensive information-sharing protocols that adhere to privacy and security standards. These protocols should ensure transparent data exchange while respecting privacy rights and adhering to data protection regulations.
6. Introduce New Tools and Technologies to Automate the Feedback Mechanism:
– Invest in tools and technologies to automate the feedback mechanism. These innovations should enable real-time information updates, improve response time, and enhance the overall efficiency and quality of feedback from LEAs to FIUs.
These best practices may serve as a roadmap for fostering stronger collaboration between FIUs and LEAs.