IACA Webinars


IACA Webinars

Corruption in Fisheries:
A Key Obstacle for Resilient Oceans

Wednesday, 22 July 2020, at 15:00 CET

This webinar, jointly organized by the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA) and the Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI), will address the key drivers of corruption, the effects and different approaches to tackle this global problem.

The Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI) is a global multi-stakeholder partnership that seeks to increase transparency and participation for a more sustainable management of marine fisheries. It provides governments, the fishing industry (both large-scale and small-scale), and civil society with an internationally-recognised framework to increase the credibility and quality of national fisheries information. By making fisheries management more transparent and inclusive, the FiTI promotes informed public debates on fisheries policies and supports the long-term contribution of the sector to national economies and the well-being of citizens and businesses that depend on the marine environment.


The situation we are experiencing, a consequence of human intervention in nature, challenges us on multiple fronts, but also provides a unique opportunity to rethink our relationship with the planet. The invasion of natural areas and the indiscriminate exploitation of resources are issues that require our immediate and collective attention.

Our oceans are undoubtedly the main source of life on the planet, containing 97% of the Earth's water and representing 99% of the planet's living space by volume. But today our fisheries resources are under threat. The world’s fish stocks face an uncertain future and more than 30 percent of the global fish stocks are already fished at biologically unsustainable levels. The complexity of the fisheries sector which often involves long supply chains and multiple jurisdictions, makes it particularly vulnerable to illicit activities, such as illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, money laundering, human rights violations, tax avoidance, and other crimes. One factor that can be transversal to these crimes is corruption.

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.


Petra Susac

Head of General Management, IACA, Austria

Petra Susac is currently working at the IACA as Head of General Management, which is primarily composed of administration, financial, human resources, facility management, information technology, and security services.  Previously she has been engaged at the Academy as Academic Programmes Coordinator, working on implementation of IACA two master’s degree programmes. She has 14 years of higher education management experience at educational institutions, professional associations, and international organizations.

 Before coming to IACA, Ms. Susac was the Graduate MBA Coordinator at Zagreb School of Economics and Management (ZSEM) in Croatia, where she also served as Marketing Director. Ms. Susac earned her BA in economics and management and her Master of Business Administration from ZSEM.


Nick Branigan

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, Fraud Investigation Service Edinburgh, UK

Nick Branigan is based in Edinburgh, Scotland, and works for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs’ Fraud Investigation Service. Dr Branigan has specialised the field of economic crime in fisheries and in 2017 was named the UK "government counter-fraud professional of the year". This recognised his work to tackle all aspects of crime and fraud along the fish industry supply chain, which has boosted tax receipts by £30m.

He is currently Chair of the North Atlantic Fisheries Intelligence Group which is affiliated to the OECD and aims to combat economic fisheries crimes.


Lejda Toçi

Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer at the UNODC, Austria

Lejda Toçi is a Programme Officer at the UNODC Global Programme for Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime. She is based at UNODC Headquarters in Vienna, Austria. Ms. Toçi coordinates the work of the programme on fisheries crime, including the delivery of both normative and technical assistance in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Before joining the UNODC, Ms. Toçi’s experience included working for the private sector, non-government organizations in the areas of global security and environmental crime as well as the foreign service of Albania.

The UNODC Global Programme for Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime works to improve the criminal justice and preventive response of member states to wildlife, forest and fisheries crime.

The Programme focuses on policy guidance and technical assistance in several areas such as strengthening national legislation, building up States’ scientific, investigative, prosecutorial and judicial capacities, and establishing internal mechanisms to undertake financial investigations and anti-corruption programmes.

Ms. Toçi holds a Master of Science degree in Environmental Technology and International Affairs from the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna and the Vienna University of Technology.


Sven Biermann

Executive Director, FiTI, Seychelles

Sven Biermann is the Director of the International Secretariat of the Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI), based in the Seychelles. The FiTI is a global multi-stakeholder partnership, which seeks to increase transparency and participation for the benefit of a more sustainable management of marine fisheries. Sven is also co-founder of the HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA Governance Platform gGmbH, a non-profit organisations that strengthen participation and transparency for sustainable solutions of societal challenges.

Throughout his more than 20 years of professional experiences, Sven has been focusing on practical and sustainable solutions for good governance, multi-stakeholder partnerships, corporate social responsibility, risk management and business integrity. In 2012/13 Sven served as the Senior Advisor to the United Nations Global Compact 10th principle (anti-corruption).

Prior to this position, Sven spent almost 10 years with the global consulting company Accenture as well as multiple years as the Director of Anti-Corruption projects at the HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA School of Governance.

Sven studied finance/taxes/auditing at the technical college in Trier/Germany, where he graduated in 1998. Sven obtained (FH) also a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Major in Information Management from the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota/USA.


Eduard Ivanov

Professor of International Law and Frequent Visiting Lecturer at IACA

Eduard Ivanov is a frequent visiting lecturer at IACA, and a visiting professor at DIREITO GV (Sao Paulo, Brazil), the University of Nice (France), the University of Muenster (Germany), and the National Research University Higher School of Economics (Moscow, Russia). He is an expert and published author in combating corruption, terrorism, money-laundering, and in AML/CFT and anti-corruption compliance. In 2016-2019 Eduard Ivanov was a member of IACA’s academic team. In 2013-2015, he was a chair of the anti-corruption research group at the Law Schools Global League.

From 2002–2008, Eduard Ivanov served as a head of various units in Rosfinmonitoring (Russian FIU) and was responsible for financial investigations and international cooperation.

From 2005–08 he was a co-chair of the Working Group on Typologies in the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism and a member of the FATF’s Working Group on Typologies. From 1999-2002 he served as a head of unit for interregional operations at the Interregional Tax Inspection for Operative Control of Problematic Taxpayers.

He holds a doctor of sciences degree from Lomonosov Moscow State University.

Eduard Ivanov has a solid practical experience in combating economic crime and corruption in the fishing industry and seaports.

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