The Holy See has ensured Moneyval’s next report is going to be more wide-reaching, taking into account all the initiatives of the past year
ANDREA TORNIELLI Taken from Vatican Insider
Moneyval, the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism decided yesterday that the Holy See and Vatican City’s next Progress Report is to be presented in December 2013. Moneyval has also accepted the Holy See’s request for a broader and more complete assessment of its financial initiatives, than that originally planned. This means the next report will not just cover the so-called “Core Recommendations” but all areas in the “Key Recommendations” section.
Readers will recall that last July the outcome of the Moneyval assembly’s assessment of the Holy See’s financial efforts was positive: it fulfilled 9 out of Moneyval’s 16 “key and core recommendations” which aim to get the Holy See’s financial system to conform to international standards, that is, the guidelines established by the FATF (the Financial Action Task Force). So many questions were left open. The “progress report” the Holy See is due to present in December was originally meant to only cover “core” recommendations but will now also cover “key” ones because “with this initiative, the Holy See wishes to provide a more complete overview of the measures taken over the last year to further strengthen its institutional structure in the area of preventing money laundering and the financing of terrorism,” a Vatican statement reads.
The Vatican’s decision to undergo a wider-reaching assessment was taken at the end of last year and can therefore not be attributed to the new Pope. The decision shows the Holy See is working to complete various reforms and legislative adjustments that extend beyond finances. In some cases the assessment will encompass laws on cases that will be impossible to verify – for example, illicit actions which took place in oil plants, on planes belonging to the national airline or on ships, given that the Holy See does not possess any plants or air or marine companies. The adjustments to be made are all requirements of international law.
Over the past year there have been many debates and disagreements over the adjustment process the Vatican is going through in order to be in line with international anti-money laundering laws, after modifications were made to the first law (No. 127) in January 2012. One of the key points referred to the autonomy and power of the financial information authority (FIA), headed by Cardinal Attilio Nicora.