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Ethics & Integrity

Our mission is to stop corruption and promote transparency, accountability and integrity at all levels and across all sectors of society. Our Statement of Vision, Values and Guiding Principles provides the basis for all our work, shaping the individual codes of conduct of our national chapters, the Secretariat and Board of Directors. All of us at Transparency International are guided by a commitment to uphold the organisation’s values and core principles.

On an ongoing basis, the Secretariat reviews, updates, and implements changes to its policies, procedures and working practices to safeguard an ethical, safe, respectful and inclusive working environment for everyone that works with us.

In 2018, a comprehensive independent review of the ethics and integrity framework of the Secretariat was conducted. Based on the recommendations of the review, the Secretariat undertook improvements to its integrity infrastructure, through which it works to ensure that our values and guiding principles are embedded at the organisational level as well as in the day-to-day conduct of those who represent Transparency International.

Our policies

The Secretariat’s Code of Conduct (currently under review) guides the day-to-day work of the staff of the Secretariat, establishing the necessary behavioural standards that its staff members and representatives are expected to uphold.

The Board of Directors has its own Code of Conduct. Directors must publish a register of interests, which can be found in their biographies.

As operationally independent organisation, our national chapters develop their own codes of conduct, with their board members also publishing registers of interests.

The Secretariat’s Whistleblower Policy (currently under review) can be used by anyone to raise concerns about misconduct and wrongdoing, such as acts of a fraudulent, dangerous or criminal nature, incidences of corruption or any other serious reputational risk for the Secretariat, and suspicion thereof.

The Secretariat’s Child Protection Policy forms part of our human resources manual and provides guidance to Secretariat staff on the definitions of child abuse and on the steps to take, if encountered.

The Secretariat’s Prevention of Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment (PSEAH) Policy, also part of our human resources manual, provides guidance on the definitions of sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment and on the steps to take when actual or suspected incidents occur.

In addition, the Anti-Harassment Policy for events and meetings organised by the Secretariat aims to ensure a harassment-free environment for all participants.

People at Transparency International around the world adhere to a Conflict of Interest Policy that establishes standards in situations where the interests or values of the Transparency International movement may conflict with those of individuals entrusted with specific responsibilities for the movement.

How to report integrity violations at the Secretariat

Staff or others can report suspected integrity violations pertaining to the Secretariat through any of these reporting channels:

  • members of the management team, including the Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  • Integrity Manager
  • External Whistleblowing Reporting Point

You are free to raise your integrity concern through any of these channels, without having to justify your choice. Concerns or reports received through these channels are shared with the Integrity Manager, who is responsible for assessing and ensuring appropriate action, as well as for protecting, filing, safe-storing and handling of the information involved.

The External Whistleblowing Reporting Point also offers increased guarantees of confidentiality by protecting your identity when relaying the information to the Integrity Manager or any other part of the organisation.

Integrity Manager

Appointed in October 2020, the Transparency International Secretariat Integrity Manager is William Richards. He can be contacted on ethics@transparency.org for advice on ethics and integrity matters, and for confidentially reporting any alleged, suspected, or actual integrity violations pertaining to the Secretariat.

External Whistleblowing Reporting Point

The function of the External Whistleblowing Reporting Point of Transparency International is covered by Dr. Rainer Buchert, a highly experienced ombudsman fulfilling this role in over 40 large and medium-size organisations in Germany.

Dr. Rainer Buchert

Bleidenstraße 1, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Phone: +49(0)69 71033330; +49(0)6105 921355

Fax: +49(0)69 71034444

Email: dr-buchert@dr-buchert.de

Board Ethics Committee

The Board Ethics Committee of the international Board of Directors provides advice and oversight on ethical questions to the Board, the national chapters and the Secretariat. Additionally, it handles any reports of suspected or actual integrity violations involving the CEO or the Integrity Manager of the Secretariat.

How to report integrity violations about or to a national chapter

The national chapters of Transparency International are locally based, independently governed entities with their own internal ethics and integrity bodies. You should therefore address information related to possible integrity violations to the competent body within the national chapter itself.

If you are concerned that the national chapter is unable or unsuitable to fairly or effectively manage the case, please contact the chair of the Board Ethics Committee and outline:

  1. the issue of concern,
  2. the steps that you have already taken with the chapter and the results (if any),
  3. why you believe that the Chapter is unsuited or unable to effectively manage the case (e.g., details of an apparent conflict of interest).

In most cases, you should seek to fully utilise the internal complaint and appeal processes of the national chapter before escalating the matter to the Board Ethics Committee. Please do not share any personal or private data with the Board Ethics Committee unless you are expressly allowed to do so under relevant governing laws.

How to report corruption

Transparency International encourages people to speak up about individual cases of corruption wherever it is safe to do so.

Corruption should be reported to the most relevant national chapter or to one of Transparency International’s local Advocacy and Legal Advice Centres.