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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. The 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.

In 2018, a comprehensive independent review of the ethics and integrity framework of the secretariat was conducted. Based on the recommendations of the review, a new integrity system was designed and is being implemented, which comprises two subsystems: the moral learning process – to help us make decisions in accordance with justice; and the compliance practice – to ensure that integrity violations are prevented and when they occur they are properly dealt with.

Our policies

The Code of Conduct guides the day-to-day work of the staff of the secretariat. The Board of Directors has its own Code of Conduct. Like Individual Members, directors must publish a register of interests, which can be found in their biographies. At the national level, chapters develop their own codes of conduct with their board members also publishing registers of interests.

Our Code of Ethical Advocacy guides our advocacy activities. We are committed to the highest ethical standards by being, for example, open about our interactions with decision- makers and the interests we seek to advance, and attuned to our mission and values throughout.

The TI-S Whistleblower Policy (currently under review) can be used by any individuals working under any form of contract or agreement with the secretariat 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.

A Child Protection Policy forms part of our HR manual and provides guidance to secretariat staff on the definitions of child abuse and on the steps to take if encountered.

Our Prevention of Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment (PSEAH) Policy, also part of our HR 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 suspected or actual integrity violations at the secretariat

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

  • any manager, including the managing director
  • the integrity officer
  • the 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 officer, 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 officer or any other part of the organisation.

The Integrity Officer

Appointed in November 2019, the Transparency International secretariat (interim) integrity officer is Kitty Nooy, formerly a public prosecutor and chief manager of the Dutch Public Prosecution Service. She can be contacted on for advice on ethics and integrity matters, and for confidentially reporting any alleged, suspected or actual integrity violations pertaining to the secretariat.

The 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 companies in Germany. You can find more details here.

His contact details are the following:

Dr. Rainer Buchert

Bleidenstraße 1

60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

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

Fax: +49(0)69 71034444


The Ethics Committee

The 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 managing director, senior management or the integrity officer of the secretariat.

How to report integrity violations about / to a national chapter

The National Chapters of Transparency International are locally-based, independently- governed entities with their own internal ethics and integrity bodies. Therefore, you should address information related to possible integrity violations to the competent body in the relevant National Chapter itself.

If you are concerned that the National Chapter is conflicted in dealing with the given case, please contact the chair of the Board Ethics Committee and outline (i) the problem, (ii) the steps that you have already taken with the chapter and the results, (iii) how the chapter would have been conflicted in dealing with the matter.

Please fully exhaust the complaint process provided by the National Chapter before reaching out to the Board Ethics Committee. Please do not share any personal or private data with the Board Ethics Committee unless you are allowed to do so under the 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