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Transparency International statement on Secretariat staff wellbeing

A recent article in The Guardian has raised a number of serious allegations relating to organisational behaviours, culture and management at the Transparency International Secretariat in Berlin.

The complaints that have been raised are part of an ongoing investigation by the Board Ethics Committee and, if we have let down our current or former staff, we are absolutely committed to transparently addressing any failings. If misconduct is found, at any level of the organisation, it will not be tolerated.

Transparency International will work openly and honestly with staff and their representative body to review our current practices, address all issues identified, and take action necessary to prevent them happening in future.

Since the beginning of 2019, to supplement our existing HR procedures, a new integrity system has been established, including the appointment of an Integrity Officer with the authority to investigate integrity-related complaints. They sit alongside an experienced ombudsperson, our External Independent Adviser, who operates as a neutral whistleblowing reporting point.

These improvements are based on an external review of our previous processes and procedures related to the safeguarding of staff, which was conducted in 2018 by international integrity system experts. The recommendations of the review are being implemented.

The Transparency International Board has two mechanisms to assess and recommend what further action is needed to address all of the issues raised. The Board Ethics Committee, which has oversight of TI’s integrity systems, has already initiated responses to some of the issues that have been publicly raised. The Board Safeguarding & Wellbeing Support Group, which has been initiated to ensure the welfare and wellbeing of staff throughout the Movement, will also be considering any additional responses.

Transparency International’s staff are the heart of our organisation. Safeguarding their wellbeing is our first priority, and the Board of Directors and management will continue to work hard to ensure we are following international best practices – of the kind that Transparency International itself promotes.

For any press enquiries please contact

Paul Bell, Head of Communications
E: [email protected]
T: +49 30 34 38 20 666