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What is the role of the APG Secretariat?
The Secretariat's general responsibilities include:
- Supporting the governance framework of the APG, including Co-Chairs and Steering Group;
- Providing secretariat services to and serving as a focal point for the APG;
- Coordinating and leading AML/CFT mutual evaluations of APG members;
- Implementing the APG's technical assistance and training (TA & T) strategy including the effective coordination of those services with donors and providers;
- Providing expertise and research on money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing in relation to weapons of mass destruction as well as other emerging issues to members and interested persons and organisations;
- Organising and conducting the APG's Annual Meeting and other inter-sessional meetings, such as Project Working Groups, the Implementation Issues Working Group and the Ad Hoc Working Group on FATF Standards;
- Preparing, conducting and chairing the Annual Typologies Workshop for law enforcement and finance sector specialists to analyse and share information on methods, trends and case studies, and to conduct projects on emerging typologies;
- Reporting to APG members at Annual Meetings and Working Groups;
- Attending FATF Plenary meetings as an Associate Member and liaising regularly with the FATF Secretariat;
- Participating in the FATF's Asia/Pacific Regional Review Group on International Cooperation;
- Providing advice and information to, and linkages between, international and regional agencies (especially financial, legal and law enforcement agencies) on money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing matters;
- Establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with relevant international and regional organisations, including the UN, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Asian Development Bank, Egmont Group, OECD, APEC, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, ASEAN, the Group of International Finance Centre Supervisors and other similar bodies to advance the APG's strategic goals;
- Providing information and education to private sector agencies, including Universities and other tertiary education institutions, in relation to the global AML/CFT standards under the APG's private sector outreach programme.
In discharging these responsibilities, the Secretariat supports approximately 400 delegates from its 41 members and 36 observers (jurisdictions and international organisations), as well as providing policy and administrative support to Working Groups and other committees/projects groups.
Where is the APG Secretariat located?
The Secretariat is hosted by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) on behalf of the Australian government and its offices are located in the central business district of Sydney, Australia.
Do APG Secretariat staff members have diplomatic, tax, criminal or other forms of legal immunities?
No. Because the APG is not a separate legal entity from its constituent member jurisdictions (it is a “task force”), it does not qualify under Australian law as an “international organisation”. Consequently, none of its Secretariat staff members are entitled to any legal immunities. All staff members pay Australian tax, are subject to Australian criminal law, and must comply with all other Australian laws.
How is the APG Secretariat funded?
Funding of the APG Secretariat as well as funding for all APG activities, is provided by all APG members in accordance with a specific funding formula based upon the individual GDP for each member.
What is the status of APG money/funds collected by the Secretariat from APG Members?
Under Australian law, all funds collected from APG members by the Secretariat are deemed to be “public funds” and are held by the Australian government in a “Special Parliamentary Account” on behalf of the APG membership. Those funds are subject to regular monthly audit, a final government audit at the end of each financial year, and a further independent audit by a firm of private auditors in Canberra, Australia. The independent audit report and financial statements are made public by the APG Secretariat as part of the Annual Report published on the APG website.