The U.S. Treasury ’s Office of Technical Assistance (OTA) and the Liberia Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) launched a joint effort on February 23, 2016 to develop Liberia’s ability to combat money laundering and counter the financing of terrorism.
The Office of Technical Assistance is comprised of five subject-matter teams focused on technical assistance to governments to promote financial sector development. OTA follows a number of guiding principles to complement its holistic approach to technical assistance. OTA supports self-reliance by providing countries with the knowledge and skills required to move towards self-sufficiency and to reduce dependence on international aid. OTA is selective and works only with governments that are committed to reform – reform that the counterparts design and own – and to using U.S. assistance effectively. OTA works side-by-side with counterparts by introducing sound practices in daily work routines through ongoing mentoring and on-the-job training, which is accomplished through co-location, whether in a financial intelligence unit (FIU), central bank, finance ministry, law enforcement authority, or other relevant government agency.
The mission of the OTA Economic Crimes Team (ECT), in particular, is to provide technical assistance to develop compliant anti-money laundering/ countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regimes. In that context, the ECT also addresses other financial and predicate crimes, including corruption and organized crime. The ECT methodology addresses the full array of AML/CFT technical assistance needs. To ensure successful outcomes, its engagements are predicated on express requests by foreign government counterparts. ECT management conducts an on-site assessment of the jurisdiction to consider not only non-compliance with international standards and the corresponding need for technical assistance, but also willingness by the counterpart to engage in active partnership with the ECT to address those deficiencies.
An ECT engagement, tailored to the specific conditions of the jurisdiction, may involve placement of a resident advisor or utilization of intermittent advisors, under the coordination of a team lead. The scope of ECT technical assistance is broad and can include awareness-raising aimed at the range of AML/CFT stakeholders; improvements to an AML/CFT legal framework to include legislation, regulations, and formal guidance; and improvement of the technical competence of stakeholders. The range of training provided by the ECT is equally broad and includes, among other topics, supervisory techniques for banking, securities, insurance, gaming and other regulatory areas; analytic and financial investigative techniques; cross-border currency movement and trade-based money laundering; asset seizure, forfeiture, and management; and the use of interagency task forces.
For more information on OTA, please see: https://goo.gl/rC4hFk