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Building a nationwide Network of Integrity Officers with participants from all federal ministries, regions, municipalities, universities, state-affiliated enterprises, etc. in order to reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms (Goal 16.5)
Introduction

The Network of Integrity Officers (NIO) was introduced by the Federal Bureau of Anti-Corruption (BAK) in 2016
to further enhance the concept of integrity in Austria. In five basic training programs 105 staff members from
all walks of civil service life in Austria were trained to become Integrity Officers: experts in issues of promotion
of integrity, corruption prevention and compliance. They are now multipliers in the awareness-raising process
and serving as contacts for inquiries regarding promotion of integrity, corruption prevention and compliance,
for staff including senior officials.

Objective of the practice

The main goal of the BAK was reducing and preventing corruption by promoting integrity. The majority of
public officers working in Austria are doing a great job and have an upstanding attitude concerning their
duties. This fact also needed to be pointed out.
At the Federal Bureau of Anti-Corruption about 15 persons are working in the field of prevention; not every
single corruption prevention project in Austria can be organized by them – a network of experts, of Integrity
Officers, was necessary.
To this end, the BAK trained 105 staff members from all walks of civil service life in Austria in five basic training
programs. Currently, participants in the Network are from all federal ministries, regions, municipalities, various
different universities, state-affiliated enterprises, the Austrian Association of Cities and Towns, and the Court
of Audit.
Two further basic training programs are planned in 2019, and two basic trainings are already scheduled for the
two years thereafter. All training courses are now cofinanced by the EU’s Internal Security Fund (ISF), however,
this financial support will end in 2020. This means that there might be an upcoming challenge concerning
funding.
To handle this challenge, NIO was included in the National Anti-Corruption Strategy that was enacted by the
Austrian government.
Another challenge will be to cover the demand for basic training programs by all Austrian public institutions
and to handle the Network which is still in the expansion phase. To cope with that issue a website has been
created and annual meetings continue to take place.
To keep all the partners interested, in 2018, an Integrity Award was granted to the institution with the most
innovative efforts in their fight for integrity.

Key stakeholders and partnerships

Currently, participants in the Network are from all federal ministries, regions, municipalities, various different
universities, state-affiliated enterprises, the Austrian Association of Cities and Towns, and the Court of Audit.
As mentioned, the Network has become part of the Austrian Anti-Corruption Strategy. All federal ministries
are partners in the NIO.
The Network is still growing and the aim is to have partners in all public institutions in Austria.

Implementation of the Project/Activity

The BAK trained 105 staff members from all walks of civil service life in Austria in five basic training programs.
Currently, participants in the Network are from all federal ministries, regions, municipalities, various different
universities, state-affiliated enterprises, the Austrian Association of Cities and Towns, and the Court of Audit.
Basic training programs provide participants with knowledge and networking opportunities; the NIO follow-up
meetings organized by the BAK feature different contents every time and provide NIO members with
important opportunities to exchange experiences and best practices. Therefore, the BAK arranges follow-up
events e.g. on risk management in the field of compliance or value management with the focus on the creation
and implementation of a value-based corporate culture through targeted value management measures.
In order to exchange knowledge and experience and to meet in person and increase readiness to cooperate in
the Network, the NIO annual meetings are designed as get-togethers of all Integrity Officers who attended
basic training programs at some point in time.
Almost half of the total number of Integrity Officers gathered at the BAK’s invitation at the last NIO annual
meeting in 2018.
The Network of Integrity Officers has an appealing website. Its objective is to provide interested members of
civil society and other stakeholders with current information on the Network‘s activities, and to feed public
discourse by placing messages, e.g. in social networks.
In 2018 the first Austrian Integrity Award was granted. Award competitions will now take place every year.

Results/Outputs/Impacts

The Bureau of Anti-Corruption now has a contact person in every federal ministry and every institution that is
partner in the NOI so that the exchange of knowledge and the identification of challenges can take place even
faster.
The institutions concerned benefit as well, since they have at least one well-trained contact person.
Integrity Officers’ tasks include:
- serving as contact for inquiries regarding promotion of integrity, corruption prevention and compliance, for
staff including senior officials;
- advising senior officials regarding the development and implementation of specific measures for corruption
prevention (such as compliance programs, codes of conduct, ethics guidelines, specific training and advanced
training programs, development and implementation of corruption risk analysis);
- contributing to surveillance and assessment of indicators pointing to corruption and risk factors;
- functioning as multipliers in the awareness-raising process within authorities and departments – this includes
seminars and anti-corruption trainings and other awareness-raising measures (such as contributing to training
and advanced training measures for corruption prevention and integrity promotion, drawing up information
notes and entire information campaigns), and
- providing information and advice to staff.

Enabling factors and constraints

As mentioned above, all training courses are now cofinanced by the EU’s Internal Security Fund (ISF) including
all basic trainings, follow-up trainings and annual meetings

Sustainability and replicability

Introducing a multiplier system was an economic as well as a sustainable idea; it meant that contact persons
were installed in every partner institution. Also, this meant that every partner institution now has a welltrained contact person for their staff. If a question is raised that cannot be answered within the respective institution, they can contact the BAK or exchange experiences on the website.

Conclusions

The goal is to connect Integrity Officers from almost all areas of civil service. It aims to create the opportunity
to exchange experiences and best practices in the area of corruption prevention.

Other sources of information

https://www.bak.gv.at/en/301/Prevention/start.aspx
https://integritaet.info
https://www.bak.gv.at/en/Downloads/files/Annual_Reports/AnnualReport_2017_v2.pdf
https://www.bak.gv.at/301/praevention_edukation/netzwerk/

Goal 16
Staff / Technical expertise
-
Basic information
Start: 01 January, 2016
Completion: 01 January, 0001
Ongoing? yes
Region
Europe
Countries
Geographical Coverage
Public bodies including state-affiliated enterprises in Austria.
Entity
Federal Ministry of the Interior, Department I/11
Type: Government
Contact information
Isabella Palla, Mag., isabella.palla@bmi.gv.at, +43 1 53126-0
Photos


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