Addressing corruption risks in the age of COVID-19: Preventing and managing conflicts of interest in the public sector

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the World Bank and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have joined forces to produce a Good Practices Guide on Preventing and Managing Conflicts of Interest in the Public Sector. This Guide has been developed at the request of and with inputs from the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group, drawing on experiences from G20 countries and beyond to illustrate good practices and innovations, tools and methods that can help strengthen integrity and address corruption risks. 

Governments around the world are currently taking broad and rapid actions to address an unprecedented health emergency and economic crisis. The speed and scale of governments’ responses to the crisis have placed enormous strains on the public sector and presented new and deepened opportunities for corruption to flourish. As governments transition from crisis to recovery, the need for stocktaking, learning important policy lessons and ensuring accountability for actions taken during the emergency will be paramount. Governments will also face renewed attention from citizens and the international community to strengthen their institutions of accountability, including the rules and practices for preventing and managing conflicts of interest. 

In this context, the new Guide served as a basis for discussion during a session on Preventing Conflicts of Interest: Innovations in Support of Public Integrity as part of the 19th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC). The session on 2 December engaged practitioners and participants in a conversation about conflicts of interest behaviours and risks, and shared some innovations that governments are putting in place to address these challenges. 

World Bank-OECD-UNODC Guide: https://www.unodc.org/documents/corruption/Publications/2020/Preventing-and-Managing-Conflicts-of-Interest-in-the-Public-Sector-Good-Practices-Guide.pdf 

Blog by Ed Olowo-Okere (World Bank), János Bertók (OECD), and Brigitte Strobel-Shaw (UNODC): https://blogs.worldbank.org/governance/addressing-corruption-risks-age-covid-19-preventing-and-managing-conflicts-interest