Policymakers are meeting in Rome Thursday in an effort to step up the fight against financial crime by improving co-operation between authorities, both within and across borders.

In response to a call from the G20 leaders, senior officials from almost 60 countries, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Financial Action Task Force, the United Nations, various non-governmental organizations, and representatives from the private sector, are meeting to examine the challenges in fostering greater co-operation to fight financial crime, both domestically and internationally.

To coincide with the meeting, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development released the first in-depth study of domestic inter-agency co-operation in over 30 countries, which identifies challenges, and recommends ways to improve inter-agency co-operation. Another report was also released, which catalogs the various instruments available for international co-operation in tax, corruption, supervision, money-laundering, and other areas of mutual legal assistance.

Participants in the Rome meeting will also discuss launching a pilot training program on the investigative skills necessary for successful criminal tax investigations; with the ultimate goal of establishing an international academy on criminal tax investigations.

“The crisis has led to a loss of trust and confidence. In Occupy Wall Street, the Arab Spring, and demonstrations in a number of countries people complain that the system protects privilege and lacks transparency. Coherent, co-ordinated and effective action to fight corruption, money laundering, tax crimes and other illicit flows and to promote integrity and transparency is now crucial to restore citizens confidence,” said OECD deputy secretary-general, Richard Boucher, opening the conference.