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Phil was a UK civil servant for 35 years (31 years with DFID) until his retirement in March 2019. He started DFID’s anti-corruption work in 2000 under DFID’s first Secretary of State, Clare Short. This, unusually for a development agency, focused equally on ‘supply side’ issues – the responsibilities of developed countries – as well as traditional technical assistance work in developing countries.
Under his guidance, DFID established aid-funded UK law enforcement units to investigate and recover stolen assets in the UK originating from developing countries and to pursue bribery by British companies in developing countries.
He helped negotiate the UN Convention against Corruption which was agreed in 2003. Between 2005 and 2009 he headed DFID’s Overseas Territories Department. He returned to lead the Anti-Corruption team again in January 2010.
He was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list in 2015-6 for services to the UK’s international anti-corruption policy.
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