OECD publishes policy measures to avoid corruption and bribery in the COVID-19 response and recovery

Jul 03, 2020

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published policy measures to avoid corruption and bribery in the COVID-19 response and recovery in May 2020.

The focus of this brief is to help policy makers, donor agencies, law enforcement officials and the private sector ensure that the global response to the crisis is not undermined by corruption and bribery. The document highlights five important measures including:

  1. Respecting the rule of law: For example, Compliance with the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention and the related 2009 Recommendations ( Internal controls, ethics and compliance and foreign public officials), the OECD Recommendation on Public Integrity, and other key instruments such as the 2016 Recommendation of the Council for Development Co-operation Actors on Managing the Risk of Corruption.


  2. Address immediate risks in emergency procurement: Whilst remaining cautious of urgent needs, corruption risks should continue to be identified, assessed, and actively mitigated on an ongoing basis, including by raising awareness of mitigation strategies. Ireland’s Office of Government Procurement is called out as an example of good practice for developing an information note on good practices for contracting authorities during the COVID-19 outbreak.


  3. Accountability and control of the economic recovery measures: Anti-corruption risk assessments should be integrated throughout programme design and delivery phases. Actual instances of corruption and bribery should be addressed comprehensively, using a whole-of-government or organisation approach where possible.


  4. Business ethics, internal controls, and compliance: Ensure a risk-based approach to good governance, business integrity and internal controls. The use of business intermediaries should be carefully considered.


  5. Enforcement of corruption and bribery cases: In particular, whistleblowers are critical and must be protected.The use of existing reporting mechanisms should be encouraged, and reports of misconduct taken seriously and investigated


Further guidance on each measure is available in the brief.