IACA Webinars


IACA Webinars

Minimising Bribery and Corruption in the Time of Covid-19

Tuesday, 28 July 2020, at 15:00 CET

The aim of this event will prove to be a very simple one: we must not let the pandemic become the excuse for our democracies to become more corrupt and more illiberal, and the proto-authoritarian leaders among us to become more anti-democratic.


The impact of COVID-19 pandemic is influencing our lives so profoundly that some say we are at "war" against the virus. But medical problems are not the only ones influencing our lives today. In addition to them, some individuals in positions of authority, both public and private, are trying to enrich themselves corruptly by the way of misusing current circumstances.

This webinar will explain how nations facing the coronavirus pandemic are also facing other risks, that are endangering the rule of law, public procurement procedures, transparency, the overall functioning of monitoring bodies and media freedom, and, in general, democratic society. It will also describe options to help protect these pillars of our societies from themselves becoming hit by the pandemic.

The webinar will also explore how COVID-19 pandemic influenced the drastic growth in cyberspace operations and why is it highly likely that cyber-criminals will also be one of the unintended beneficiaries of the current situation.

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.

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.


Drago Kos

Chair of the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions, Slovenia

Drago Kos is currently the Chair of the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions, Co-Chair of MENA – OECD Business Integrity Network, former member of International Anti-Corruption Advisory Board (IACAB) and of the Defence Corruption Monitoring Committee (NAKO) in Ukraine and advisor to the Kosovo Anti-Corruption Agency. Between 2011 and 2015 he used to be International Commissioner and Chair of the Joint Independent Anti-Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (MEC) in Afghanistan. Between 2003 and 2011 he was the Chairman of the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO).

In the past, Mr. Kos held positions of the Co-Chair of European Partners against Corruption and of the European Anti-Corruption Network, Vice-President of the European Healthcare Fraud and Corruption Network. He was also a member of the Council of Europe’s Group of Specialists on Criminal Law and Criminological Aspects of Organised Crime and expert of the Council of Europe, UNODC and IOC on corruption in sport.

Mr. Kos started his career in Slovenia in 1983 as criminal investigator in one of the regional police directorates. In 1995, he became the first Head of Organised Crime Section in the Criminal Investigation Directorate of Slovenian Police and in 1997 Deputy Director of the Criminal Investigation Directorate of Slovenian Police, responsible for criminal investigation operations.

From 1999 to 2002 he served as a Counsellor to the Government at the Office for European Affairs and International Cooperation at the Ministry of the Interior of Slovenia, responsible for negotiations between Slovenia (as a candidate country) and European Union in the field of justice and home affairs. From 2002 to 2002 he was State Undersecretary at the Office of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia for the Prevention of Corruption, only to be elected as the first Chairman of the independent Commission for the Prevention of Corruption in his country, where he served until 2010. After the expiry of his mandate he started his own consultancy company, still operating today.


Sandrine Richard

Paris Bar lawyer, specialised in financial and business criminal law, France

Sandrine Richard is a lawyer at the Paris Bar. She is a graduate student at the Université Paris II Panthéon-Assas. After practising with Olivier Schnerb in financial criminal law, she set up her own law firm in financial and business criminal law and later specialized in the prevention and fight against corruption. In this way, she works as a consultant for companies and regularly conducts compliance diagnostics and strategic consulting missions for them.

She also provides training on the implementation of the Sapin II Law for listed companies and their foreign subsidiaries. She also is an expert and consultant to few international organizations such as the OECD, DCAF and UNDP. She organizes and participates in important international conferences related to the fight against corruption and collaborates with the French Anti-corruption Agency.

She provides training in France and abroad, particularly in the Middle East and Africa, on ways to fight corruption in the public and private sectors.

She is a certified auditor and counsel at ETHIC Intelligence (accredited auditor in Washington DC in anti-corruption standards (ISO 37001 and 19600)). She is also a member of WAPP UNECE in Geneva (World Association of PPP Units & Professionals).

Finally, she is an Expert and Auditor in Intelligence Economic and at the National Institute of High Studies of Security and Justice, attached to the cabinet of the Prime Minister (INHESJ).


James Wasserstrom

Founder and Director, The Wasserstrom Group; Whistleblower

James Wasserstrom became an anticorruption practitioner through his work directing the Office for Oversight of Publicly-owned Enterprises (OPOE) within the United Nations Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).  He established and led OPOE for four years, identifying massive fraud and abuse of authority in Kosovo’s public utilities, the largest component of the then-breakaway province’s GDP.  He attacked corruption and political interference directly, and eventually led transformation of the utilities into more modern corporate structures with professional governance and, ultimately, in some cases, privatization. 

After being fired by the UN for blowing the whistle on collusion in corruption between senior UNMIK and Kosovo officials, he became the protagonist in an epic legal battle with the UN in the landmark case, Wasserstrom vs. UN Secretary General.  The struggle inspired the passage of a unique provision in U.S. law, still in force, which requires the UN and Bretton Woods institutions to adhere, among other items, to best practices in implementing whistleblower protection policies or risk losing 15% of the U.S. contribution.  The law was most recently applied last year in favor of whistleblowers at the International Civil Aviation Organization

After the end of his nearly three decades with the UN, he became the Senior Advisor on Anticorruption at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, for nearly five years, where he broadened the focus of his work to identify corruption and its links to terrorist financing, money-laundering and narcotics.  He led the drafting of the definitive U.S. government report on the role of the official U.S. government agencies in fostering corruption in Afghanistan, and subsequently led the establishment of anticorruption bodies in Ukraine and Tunisia.

Based in Greece, Mr. Wasserstrom leads his own consulting operation, The Wasserstrom Group, which, inter alia, focuses on countering corruption, terrorist financing, money-laundering and narcotics.  With his experience in Eastern Europe, the Balkans and Afghanistan, his current work involves not just public and private sector corruption, but now state-sponsored corruption as a tool of foreign policy.  

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