Previous IACA Webinars


IACA Webinars

International Anti-Corruption in Procurement:
Lessons from the Pandemic

Thursday, 9 July 2020, at 15:00 CET

We are pleased to invite all interested professionals to join us for this interactive webinar on the effects of emergency procurement in the Covid-19 era.


The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created unprecedented challenges to health, social welfare, economies, and supporting supply chains. Health concerns, confinement measures and border closures adopted in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis have caused severe disruption in the supply and distribution chains of goods, works and services that the public sector needs. Many governments have turned to emergency procedures, to alleviate the negative impacts of COVID-19 on their populations and economies, but some of these recent measures may have unintended consequences. While relaxing procurement rules can help governments respond more quickly to a growing health pandemic, there are also significant risks associated with looser restrictions. Increasing risks of fraud and corruption have been created through a number of developments, including derogationsor relaxation of public procurement rules and a desire to short-cut or eliminate “administrative and bureaucratic” requirements; a massive amount of money disbursed quickly into a number of markets; a boom of donations and gifts made either on a voluntary basis or in order to respond to a “solicitation” by a public authority; and emergency efforts to address shortages of some goods or other urgent needs.
The aftermath of this pandemic could be an opportunity to design resilience-oriented procurement strategies based on the selection of reliable providers; the creation of a portfolio of providers to be activated in the case of emergency; and the use of contracts to allow flexibility and the assurance of sound procurement outcomes.

Whistleblowing and whistleblower protections in the Covid-19 era

Monday, 8 June 2020, at 14:00 CET.

We are pleased to invite all interested professionals to join us for this interactive webinar on whistleblowing and their protection in the Covid-19 era.


Whistleblowing has proved to be an effective means of unearthing complex and often hidden corruption practices and regulatory infractions. Yet the protection of whistleblowers continues to be a serious challenge in most jurisdictions. This, in turn, undermines the effectiveness of whistleblowing as a potent tool to detect corruption cases. Experts believe that COVID-19 virus pandemic has heightened the risk of corruption and fraud in the private, public and non-profit sectors. In particular, procurements carried out in emergency conditions in the health sector, and the huge stimulus packages provided in many countries to businesses and individuals, have provided opportunities for corrupt practices to emerge.

The global economic trend which shows signs of an oncoming recession exacerbate the danger of anti-corruption laws and regulations being violated as the business sector goes into survival mode.  While governments use emergency powers to handle the outbreak, it is imperative to have increased oversight of executive decisions by the judiciary, national audit institutions, ombudspersons, civil society and the media. This can be reinforced by providing a more conducive environment for whistleblowing disclosures and an increased focus on protecting those who choose to report wrongdoing and abuses directly outside their employment.

Opening Remarks

Thomas Stelzer

Dean and Executive Secretary of IACA

Thomas Stelzer has been a member of the foreign service of the Republic of Austria. He has served as Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations Office in Vienna, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization Preparatory Commission; and more recently as Ambassador to Portugal. He also served as Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs at the United Nations, and as the Secretary of the United Nations Chief Executives Board.

At the Austrian Permanent Mission in New York, he had worked in the areas of international security and disarmament issues, as well as development cooperation. He was also Special Assistant to the Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban-Treaty Organization (CTBTO PrepCom).  

Among his various other professional activities, Thomas Stelzer has also held the position of Deputy-Director of the Austrian Cultural Institute in New York. Before joining the Foreign Service, he worked as a free-lance journalist and political science researcher in Latin America. He has extensively lectured on the International System.  

Thomas Stelzer is holding degrees from Vienna University and Stanford University and a Diploma from The Johns Hopkins University, School for Advanced International Studies.

He has been the president of Klangforum Wien, a leading ensemble for contemporary classical music.


Anna Myers

Executive Director, Whistleblowing International Network, Glasgow, UK

Anna Myers is the founding Executive Director of the Whistleblowing International Network (WIN), a network to strengthen civil society organisations that defend and support whistleblowers around the world. Anna has worked in the field of whistleblowing law and practice for 20 years.

Anna is originally from Canada and is a qualified UK lawyer. She was Deputy Director of Public Concern at Work (now called Protect) in London and worked for Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) in Strasbourg.

She advised the Council of Europe’s Committee on Legal Cooperation (CDCJ) on the 2014 Recommendation on the protection of whistleblowers, and drafted the UNODC Resource Guide on good practices in the protection of reporting persons. Under her leadership, WIN played an important role in advocating for an EU Directive to protect whistleblowers and helped secure essential provisions in the law that was adopted.


Leah Ambler

Legal Analyst and Manager, Latin America Anti-Corruption Programme, OECD, Paris, France

Leah Ambler is a Legal Analyst at the Anti-Corruption Division of the OECD where she also manages the Asia Pacific Anti-Corruption Initiative. In her role at the OECD, she supports the Working Group on Bribery’s monitoring of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention and related instruments. Leah was Co-chair of the International Bar Association’s Anti-Corruption Committee (2017-19) and is a frequent speaker on anti-corruption issues such as whistleblower protection and international cooperation.

Prior to joining the OECD, Leah worked for Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and for an international law firm in Tokyo, Japan. Leah has a combined Law and Asian Studies degree from the Australian National University and is admitted as both a Barrister and Solicitor.

Karin Buzanich-Sommeregger

Partner, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Vienna, Austria

Karin Buzanich-Sommeregger is a partner based in the firm’s Vienna office where she heads the People and Rewards team. Karin specialises in employment issues in multi-country corporate transactions and cross-border matters, employer-side employment law and occupational pension matters.

She advises on individual and collective labour law issues, company pensions, and employment issues in M&A and restructuring projects, and represents clients in employment and pensions litigation.

Andrea Franzoso

Working in the field of education and book writer Milan, Italy

Andrea Franzoso lives in Milan, Italy. He holds a Bachelor in Philosophy, a Master of Science in Law and an MBA degree from Bocconi. Andrea served ten years as officer in the “Arma dei Carabinieri”, where he reached the rank of Captain. Then, he worked for the FNM Group in the internal audit unit and as CSR manager.

Today he works in the field of education and he is a book writer. He is the author of “Il Disobbediente” (“The Disobedient”), published in October 2017 and #disobbediente! (for children), published by DeAgostini (2018), both about his personal story.

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