Other Publications

WhistleWire – Volume 1 – Issue 1 – Winter 2020

Over the past five years, Southeast Europe has led the world in strengthening whistleblower rights. Thanks to the hard work of policy-makers, activists, journalists and citizens, every Western Balkan country now has a whistleblower protection law on the books.
All of these laws contain most European and international standards.
So, whistleblowers have nothing to worry about, right? Wrong.
Three ongoing retaliation cases show that the region has a long way to go before employees and citizens can report crime and corruption without the fear of prosecution, firing and other reprisals. The cases also reveal that strong laws are one thing. Actual protection in real life situations is something else. Read more in the first 2020 Issue of the SEE WhistleWire edition.

WhistleWire is published by the Southeast Europe Coalition on Whistleblower Protection.

Handbook on Effective Asset Recovery in Compliance with European and International Standards

Handbook on Effective Asset Recovery in Compliance with European and International Standards

Handbook on Effective Asset Recovery in Compliance with European and International Standards

Asset recovery is a simple idea; the legal retrieval of illegal gains. In practice, however, asset recovery is a complex and multidimensional area of law, often requiring intricate practical procedures and involving multiple parties and jurisdictions. This practical complexity requires the judges and prosecutors working in the field to have a firm understanding of their own domestic legislation in relation to freezing, seizure and confiscation, as well as a solid appreciation of the international standards and instruments that seek to strengthen and harmonise international practice.
In 2017, the AIRE Centre (Advice on Individual Rights in Europe) and RAI (Regional Anti-corruption Initiative) began working together to support jurisdictions in Southeast Europe (SEE) to improve their asset recovery capabilities. In 2018, the two organisations published a study titled Asset Recovery in the Western Balkans: A Comparative Analysis of Legislation and Practice, which was completed after extensive consultation with regional and international experts.

This handbook produced by RAI and AIRE Centre is also available in Albanian, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian/Montenegrin, Romanian and Macedonian.

RAI & AIRE Centre

Tools and Best Practices for International Asset Recovery Cooperation Handbook

Tools and Best Practices for International Asset Recovery Cooperation Handbook

Tools and Best Practices for International Asset Recovery Cooperation Handbook

This handbook aims to assists asset recovery practitioners to conduct effective international asset recovery by providing best practice guidance for international cooperation. It contains relevant international and European asset recovery legislation, standards and mechanisms for international cooperation, and will be a practical hands-on tool for investigators, prosecutors, judges and other institutions involved in asset tracing and identification, freezing and seizure, confiscation (including non-conviction based confiscation) and international asset disposal. It will also provide an overview of any existing bilateral and multilateral agreements for asset recovery cooperation in the South East Europe region. It includes both the pre-mutual legal assistance and the mutual legal assistance processes. It does not cover the cross-border management of assets.

This handbook produced by RAI and AIRE Centre is also available in Albanian, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian/Montenegrin (including Cyrilic), Romanian and Macedonian.

RAI & AIRE Centre

A Whistleblower’s Bill of Rights Through a World Bank Lens

GAP’s Study Shows Protections for World Bank Whistleblowers Fall Short of Best Practices


On December 2nd, Keith Henderson of the Washington College of Law at American University and Carvalho Research Fellow at the Government Accountability Project, presented a study of the state of protections for whistleblowers at the World Bank at the International Anti-Corruption Conference in Panama. The study’s findings can be succinctly summarized: “The Bank’s Whistleblower Policy, Rules and Guidance are not transparent and are out-of-step with 21st Century international best practices, treaties and the universal rights of whistleblowers (in a number of important ways).”

Because the World Bank is the flagship development bank and lends billions of dollars annually to governments, accountability is a significant concern for its management. General research on the topic of accountability shows that fraud examiners, investigators and auditors detect more misuse of funds through tips and disclosures from whistleblowers than from any other source.

At the same time, recent staff surveys at the World Bank show that employees are reluctant to come forward with disclosures of wrongdoing for fear of reprisal. The combination of facts suggests that oversight at the World Bank may be hindered by a climate of insecurity among the staff about management’s commitment to whistleblowers, as well as by uncertainty about the protections actually in place.

GAP has worked for many years to protect World Bank whistleblowers from retaliation and is prepared to cooperate with management in effectively communicating the protections available to those who disclose misconduct or fraud. GAP is also committed to ensuring that these protections are fairly and promptly implemented.

Government Accountability Project

20 December 2016

Disclaimer: All views, opinions and accounts included in the post are those of the authors; their inclusion does not imply official endorsement or acceptance by RAI. The News Section reflects the selection of topics of informative value to the organization and its stakeholders. Its content is taken from press/media sources and does not in any way reflect official RAI Secretariat policy. RAI Secretariat is not responsible for possible inaccuracies in media reports.

Shadow Power: Assessment of Corruption and Hidden Economy in Southeast Europe

Shadow Power: Assessment of Corruption and Hidden Economy in Southeast Europe is a report which provides a civil society view of the state of corruption and hidden economy in Southeast Europe. It
has been prepared by the SELDI Secretariat (Center for the Study of Democracy) after extensive consultations with SELDI partners. The report reflects the findings of the Corruption Monitoring System (CMS) 2016 and the Hidden Economy Survey 2016 in the SELDI countries. Dr. Alexander Stoyanov and Dr. Alexander Gerganov from Vitosha Research, Bulgaria, and Dr. Todor Yalamov from the Sofia University have provided methodological guidance of the CMS implementation on corruption and hidden economy respectively. The report is based on two regional background studies prepared by SELDI: Energy Governance and State Capture Risks in Southeast Europe and Hidden Economy and Good Governance in Southeast Europe.

SELDI 2016

Anti-corruption Reforms in Eastern Europe and Central Asia Progress and Challenges, 2013-2015

Anti-corruption Reforms in Eastern Europe and Central Asia Progress and Challenges, 2013-2015  analyses three broad areas of anti-corruption work, including anti-corruption policies and institutions, criminalisation of corruption and law-enforcement, and measures to prevent corruption in public administration and in the business sector. The analysis is illustrated by examples of good practice from various countries and comparative cross-country data. The report also analyses the role that the OECD Anti-Corruption Network for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ACN) played in supporting anticorruption reforms in the region. The report focuses on the nine countries in the region that participate in the OECD/ACN initiative known as the Istanbul Anti-Corruption Action Plan: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. It also presents examples from other countries in the region as well as OECD countries to give a broader perspective for the analysis. The report covers the period from 2013 till July 2016, when the third round of monitoring of Istanbul Action Plan countries was implemented, and is based on the results of this monitoring.

This report was prepared by the OECD/ACN Secretariat at Anti-Corruption Division (ACD) of the OECD Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs.

OECD  2016

Legislative Toolkit on Conflict of Interest

Legislative Toolkit on Conflict of Interest  has been prepared within the framework of the CoE/EU PCF: Project “Fight against Corruption and Fostering Good Governance/Fight against money-laundering”. The toolkit has been prepared taking into account international standards and comparative good practices on regulating conflict of interest, as well as views expressed by authorities of Eastern Partnership countries at a Conflict of Interest Workshop held on 15-16 October 2015, in Istanbul, Turkey. The Legislative Toolkit has been reviewed and edited by the Secretariat of the Council of Europe at the Economic Crime and Cooperation Unit.

This legislative toolkit aims at providing guidance on good examples for regulating conflict of interest, possible pitfalls and common mistakes in conflict of interest regulations and comprehensive conflict of interest regulation, as well as other questions for practitioners from countries in transition. This manual focuses on administrative officials, as well as on parliamentarians and judges. The toolkit attempts to resolve an often present dilemma among practitioners on whether there should be any differences in approach to regulating this issue for lower level and higher level civil servants; political appointees; or judges.

This toolkit includes regulatory guidelines which explain how to formulate a conflict of interest law, commentaries which explain the necessity of regulation and to what attention should be paid. In addition, for each provision, there is an annex which shows the applicable international standards and examples from national regulations.

Council of Europe 2015

Corruption in the Extractive Value Chain: Typology of risks, mitigation measures and incentives

A new OECD toolkit to tackle corruption – ‘Typology of risks, mitigation measures and incentives in the extractive chain’, can now be used by governments around the world. The toolkit was released at the 2016 OECD Integrity Forum held in Paris.

This document is the first analytical tool that provides evidence-based analysis to understand better how corruption, defined as abuses of public or private office for personal gain, works throughout the extractive – mining, oil and gas – value chain. This includes the process from deciding to extract and the awarding of rights down through revenue collection, management and spending. It aims to raise awareness and improve understanding across policy makers, law enforcement officials and stakeholders about evolving corruption patterns. This document is also intended to serve as a standard diagnostic framework for assessments of corruption risk in resource-rich countries and better tailor responses to effectively prevent corruption risk.

Drawing from an analysis of 131 concluded and ongoing corruption cases across different jurisdictions, the typology maps out the schemes of corruption, and vehicles used to corrupt. The typology shows how illegal payments are channelled, disguised through offshore transactions and complex corporate structures, often involving shell companies that make detecting and sanctioning corruption more difficult.

The analysis finds no distinction among central or local government officials, local business partners, subcontractors, consultants, advisors, intermediaries and foreign companies: they can all act as initiators or beneficiaries of corruption.

The report calls for putting incentives in place to change behaviour voluntarily by pricing corruption and making it less attractive for public and private actors. This requires co-ordinated efforts across OECD and developing countries as well as extractive industries, brokering an alliance for collective action, including through the OECD Initiative for Policy Dialogue on Natural Resource-based Development.

OECD   2016

Corruption risks in the criminal justice chain and tools for assessment

This U4 issue paper provides policymakers in developing nations, their citizens, and U4’s partners in the donor community with an overview of where corruption is most likely to arise in the investigation, prosecution, trial, and incarceration stages of the criminal justice process.

Each chapter focuses on a specific stage, providing a summary of the principal decision makers involved, the tasks they perform, the most common types of corruption risk, the tools available to assess the risks, and, where sufficient experience exists, an evaluation of the usefulness of these assessment tools. While some basic risk management approaches are noted, the emphasis is on analysis and assessment of problems.

U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Center 2015

The fish’s head: Appointment and removal procedures for anti-corruption agency leadership

“A fish rots from the head” is the saying when an organisation’s leadership is seen as responsible for the unethical behaviour of its personnel. Undue external interference with an anti-corruption agency (ACA) is likely to target its top officials; if co-opted or corrupted, they can do serious damage to the effectiveness and reputation of an ACA. Appointment and removal processes affect the actual and perceived impartiality of ACAs. If an ACA head can be appointed and removed at will by a political stakeholder, the appointee has an incentive to defer to the will of the appointer. Some countries have therefore made such appointments the shared responsibility of several institutions to avoid potential misuse of the ACA by the government or a particular political group. In addition to who has responsibility for appointments, the criteria for eligibility and the transparency of the selection criteria and process also matter. The inclusion or exclusion of a certain group of candidates can have an effect on the actual and perceived impartiality, competence, and responsiveness of the head of the agency.
The inclusion of non-state actors, for example, is likely to gain more public trust than limiting candidates to party office holders. Removal procedures can be as important as appointment procedures. Security of tenure needs to be weighed against accountability. The implicit or explicit threat of removal can be a powerful incentive for the ACA head to align with specific interests. Removal procedures become important when those whose interests are threatened try to influence and – if unsuccessful – remove key decision makers.
Removal, however, can also be needed to replace leaders who are corrupt, politically driven, or simply incompetent. It is therefore important to outline clearly the removal procedures, keeping in mind both the independence of the agency and the accountability of top officials.

U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Center 2015

The basics of corruption risk management: A framework for decision making and integration into the project cycles

This paper examines corruption risk management in a development aid context and explains how these risks can be identified, assessed, and mitigated across the project cycle. It provides a framework that can be used to build the strongest risk management framework possible, or, alternatively, a lighter model. It suggests considerations that should inform the decision to invest in corruption risk management and presents a menu of different corruption risk management tools.

U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Center 2015

Anti-Corruption Ethics and Compliance Handbook for Business

The myriad of existing anti-corruption principles for business can be confusing, especially for small- to medium-sized enterprises with limited resources. To address this challenge, the Anti-Corruption Ethics and Compliance Handbook has been developed by companies, for companies, with assistance from the OECD, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and the World Bank.

The handbook is not intended to create new standards or represent any form of legally binding requirement for businesses. It has been developed to serve as a useful, practical tool for companies seeking compliance advice. It brings together, in one reference resource, the major international business guidance instruments and provides real-life case studies from companies on the application of these instruments in practice.

OECD, UNODC and World Bank – November 28, 2013

Local Integrity System Assessment Toolkit

The Local Integrity System (LIS) Tool assesses the internal governance and capacity of each of the core local government actors and their role in promoting integrity in the system as a whole. It also assesses the capacity to perform, and the effectiveness of, each of the oversight and accountability functions. The LIS Tool is designed to conduct an in-depth assessment of a small number of local government units in a given country. It is not designed to compare the state of integrity in all (or even the majority of) local government units in a country. When used repeatedly, the LIS Tool can monitor and evaluate the progress of the LIS over time.

Transparency International, 2014

Anti-Corruption Kit: 15 ideas for young activists

When it comes to fighting corruption, many young people are already making a big difference to the communities and countries they live in. But for those just starting out, the prospect of kick-starting a campaign, running a hackathon or planning a protest can be daunting.

That’s why Transparency International created a new Anti-corruption kit offering 15 ideas for young activists, with step-by-step guidance on how to turn a plan into action.

Transparency International, 2014