This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from a U4 Partner Agency. The U4 Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International in collaboration with the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre based at the Chr. Michelsen Institute.
Could you please provide an overview of anti-corruption efforts and integrity management systems for global bodies such as the UN, the Global Fund and the EU development system?
We are in the process of identifying initiatives or actions in order to improve the anti-corruption systems of global bodies, including multilateral and supranational organisations.
1. Understanding integrity management systems of global bodies
2. The United Nations’ integrity management system
3. The Global Fund’s integrity management system
4. The EU’s integrity management system
The response is a mapping of existing integrity mechanisms of global bodies. It is not a full-system assessment or comparison of integrity mechanisms across the three bodies profiled. Such an integrity assessment has not been done and could be recommendable. This answer focuses more extensively on the integrity architecture of the UN.
Having a comprehensive integrity system is seen as an important defence against corruption, whether for countries or organisations. In the area of development and aid, many organisations have come to view integrity systems as an important part of their efforts to fight corruption. For example, some bilateral donors and multilateral development banks have adopted anti-corruption systems typically rooted in a hallmark document that brings together all anti-corruption related policies. This body of institutions, processes and policies aims to provide guidance on how to prevent, detect, investigate and sanction corruption.
Global bodies engaged in development also often have similar integrity systems. A mapping of these systems was done for three organisations with global reach: the United Nations (including its separately administered funds and programmes); the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; and the European Union (namely the European Commission and the EuropeAid Development and Co-operation Directorate-General; DG-DEVCO).
The findings show a diffuse anti-corruption policy landscape for each. Policies and programmes are numerous, separately administered and spread across different units, departments and agencies.
The absence of a more centralised system does not mean that anti-corruption policies are necessarily less effective. In some cases, there are legal barriers that would prevent a more overarching policy to apply to all institutions and/or members. Rather, the findings speak to the need for further research to understand how the policies are implemented. For example under such a scenario of a more piecemeal system, greater cross-departmental collaboration and information-sharing would be essential and needs to be assessed. Otherwise, there could be a potential risk of leaving certain areas uncovered and creating gaps in enforcement.
At the same time, it is important to understand what the findings point to regarding public access to information of what are essentially public bodies (supported through tax-payer resources). In conducting this mapping, information about the initiatives was often found to be fragmented, dispersed and difficult to access. Moreover, it was usually in English only.
AuthorsCraig Fagan, Transparency International, firstname.lastname@example.org and Marie Chene, Transparency International, email@example.com