Kyrgyz Ambassador Presents Credentials

On 24 April H.E. Mr. Bakyt Dzhusupov, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Kyrgyzstan to the International Organizations in Vienna, presented his credentials to Mr. Martin Kreutner, Dean and Executive Secretary of IACA.

Kyrgyzstan acceded to the Agreement for the Establishment of IACA as an International Organization in January 2015.

MACS Students in Georgia

Students from IACA’s 2015 – 2017 Master in Anti-Corruption Studies (MACS) programme are currently in Tbilisi, Georgia for the in-class part of their final module, which focuses on Corruption Prevention and the Future of Anti-Corruption.

The module runs from 10 to 21 April and includes discussions of whistle-blower protection, corruption prevention in the non-profit and aid sectors, successful anti-corruption reforms, and the future of the anti-corruption agenda. The MACS students are also taking part in study visits to the Georgian Ministries of Justice and Internal Affairs, Parliament, Public Service Hall, and the Georgian Procurement Agency.

Lecturers for this module are Michael Johnston, Distinguished Professor at IACA, Anna Myers, Director of the Whistleblowing International Network, Malika Ait-Mohamed Parent, former Under-Secretary General of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and a MACS 2014 – 2016 graduate, and Elena Helmer, Director, IACA’s academic programmes.

The MACS is a two-year programme specifically designed for working professionals. Each module has a two-week in-class phase that takes place approximately every three months. Most of these classes are at IACA’s campus in Laxenburg/Vienna, Austria, with at least one two-week session held at another location worldwide. Brazil and Malaysia have previously hosted MACS modules.

IACA is currently accepting applications for the MACS 2017 – 2019 programme, which will begin in October this year. For more information and to apply, please click here

Han-Kyun Rho Joins IACA as Full Professor

IACA is pleased to announce that Professor Han-Kyun Rho, an international expert in business ethics and management systems, has joined its faculty as Full Professor for Collective Action, Compliance, and (private sector) Anti-Corruption.

In this role he will oversee the launch and implementation of IACA’s new International Master in Anti-Corruption Compliance and Collective Action (IMACC), the first master’s programme specially designed for practitioners involved with the business sector in these fields. As the head of IACA’s Compliance and Collective Action Department, Prof. Rho will also oversee the delivery of anti-corruption and compliance seminars and workshops for business professionals from around the world, and the build-up of the Academy’s research capabilities in this area.

Prof. Rho, a citizen of the Republic of Korea, joins IACA from Kookmin University, where he was Associate Professor in the College of Business Administration. He has a PhD in Management Studies and an MPhil in Development Studies from Cambridge University (UK).

Before embarking on his academic career he worked for more than a decade at the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy in various economic and business-related roles. He has also served at the country’s Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission.

“We are extremely glad that Professor Rho will be leading IACA’s education, training, and research activities involving the business sector,” said Martin Kreutner, Dean and Executive Secretary. “Our organization has many exciting new initiatives in this area, and Prof. Rho’s experience and expertise will be great assets as we develop and implement them.”

The Professorship is funded by the Siemens Integrity Initiative.

Here Prof. Rho shares some thoughts on compliance, business ethics, and the Academy’s new IMACC programme:

What got you interested in compliance and business ethics in the first place?

Han-Kyun Rho: Well, I’ve been looking at the relations between business, the state, and society for two decades now. But I might not have been so interested in these topics had I approached them in a conventional way.

Let me start with my particular understanding of business ethics. Many scholars tend to think of it as an intellectual attempt at applying a moral philosophy, like Kantian ethics or utilitarianism, to various business situations. But to me, business ethics is a dynamic, never-ending process in which businesspeople or companies (“agents” if you like) are seeking to embed themselves harmoniously in a larger system within which they work - such as an organization, a society, or even the planet. Similarly, I regard compliance as a balance between external legal and ethical demands made on an agent and the agent’s decision to shape its identity rather than merely complying with these demands.

How can we make a compelling business case for compliance systems when these are not followed to the same extent everywhere?

H-K R: My previous answer provides a clue here. If a company were to take advantage of varying levels of compliance expectations in different parts of the world or between sectors, it would simply be complying with external demands and would have no consistent corporate identity. Such a business would be seen as purely opportunistic and nobody would approach it with much respect. Consumers, suppliers, employees, and other stakeholders would take a similar attitude towards it in return, which would eventually hamper the company from prospering. I think the observation of Tom Peters and Robert Waterman still holds: “dedication to the central values of the company” is one of the key sources of its excellence.

Business professionals in anti-corruption and compliance already have many short courses to choose from. What does the IMACC offer that these other programmes don’t?

H-K R: Many things. First, the IMACC is much more comprehensive. It draws on many disciplines and provides a far deeper understanding of anti-corruption, compliance, and collective action at both the conceptual and practical level. It’s also a truly global programme enabling students to learn and share ideas with leading professors, practitioners, and peers from around the world. IMACC graduates receive an internationally recognized master’s degree with 120 ECTS credits under the EU’s Bologna process. And they join IACA’s alumni network of compliance and anti-corruption professionals in 152 countries and jurisdictions, which is an extremely valuable professional resource.

To what extent can business ethics be taught?

H-K R: If it is taught as an intellectual attempt to apply a moral philosophy to professional situations, the resulting learning might be a bit shallow and not very applicable to everyday life. Yes, you can acquire an increased level of moral sensitivity to an issue, such as some grey areas of corruption. However, that does not always lead to a moral action. Knowing is one thing, but acting is another.

I would argue that joining a community of like-minded professionals is a more effective way of developing and reinforcing ethical behaviour. Sharing questions, worries, trials, and errors within a network of peers helps its members to internalize the value of ethical behaviour and transform knowledge into action. This emphasis on networking and sharing experiences is central to all of IACA’s programmes and trainings, including the IMACC.

For more information about the IMACC, including details of how to apply, please click here.

Representatives of ICMPD’s Prague Process Partner Countries Visit IACA

Representatives of non-EU partner countries in the ICMPD’s Prague Process on migration visited IACA on Wednesday to discuss the importance of combating corruption in this area and learn more about the Academy’s work.

The group, led by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), gave an update on the Prague Process, which aims to promote migration partnerships among the countries of the European Union, Schengen Area, Eastern Partnership, Western Balkans, Central Asia, Russian Federation, and Turkey.

Mr. Martin Kreutner, IACA’s Dean and Executive Secretary, briefed the group on the organization’s current and upcoming activities, including its two master’s programmes. Among the many activities of IACA in 2017 and beyond, he also highlighted the organization’s second tailor-made training for anti-corruption and compliance practitioners from Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) Member States – Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and the Russian Federation – which will take place on campus from 2 to 4 October.

The ICMPD became a Party to the Agreement for the Establishment of IACA as an International Organization in 2011 and the two institutions continue to collaborate closely. In October 2016 Ms. Gabriela Abado, the ICMPD’s Deputy Director General, was a speaker at an IACA-OECD side event in Vienna on the links between organized crime, terrorism, and corruption.

Kazakhstan Prosecutor General Visits IACA

Mr. Zhakip Assanov, Prosecutor General of the Republic of Kazakhstan, led a high-level delegation to IACA on Tuesday to discuss potential areas of cooperation between his Office and the Academy.

The delegation also included H.E. Mr. Kayrat Sarybay, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the International Organizations in Vienna, as well as senior officials from the country’s Academy of Law Enforcement Agencies.

Mr. Martin Kreutner, Dean and Executive Secretary, briefed the delegation about IACA’s current activities and said the organization looks forward to welcoming greater numbers of professionals from Kazakhstan, such as prosecutors, judges, and other law enforcement officers and public officials, to its programmes and trainings.

These include, among others, the Master in Anti-Corruption Studies and the new International Master in Anti-Corruption Compliance and Collective Action. In addition, from 2 to 4 October this year IACA will hold its second tailor-made training for anti-corruption and compliance practitioners from Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) Member States  - Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and the Russian Federation.

“IACA already enjoys strong ties with Kazakhstan and sees many possible areas for enhanced cooperation in fighting and preventing corruption. Today’s meeting was highly positive and productive in that regard, and we look forward to following up with concrete steps in the near future,” Mr. Kreutner said.

Mr. Assanov provided an update on his Office’s work in combating corruption in Kazakhstan, stressing also the need for the prosecution service to have a stronger “service component” in its interactions with the general public. He expressed interest in deepening cooperation with IACA through joint projects in anti-corruption and compliance, inter alia, in the framework of the forthcoming Central Asian Regional Hub for Countering Global Threats, which is planned to be based in Astana.

“Education is, and will remain, a very important part of Kazakhstan’s efforts to curb corruption. I firmly believe that IACA, through its programmes, trainings, and other activities, can make a significant contribution to our joint efforts in this area,” Mr. Assanov stated.

Kazakhstan acceded to the Agreement for the Establishment of IACA as an International Organization in December 2013.

Students from LUISS Guido Carli University Visit IACA

A group of students from LUISS Guido Carli University in Rome came to IACA’s campus on Thursday to learn more about the Academy and its work in empowering anti-corruption and compliance professionals around the world.

The visit was part of the university’s Discovering International Organizations Project (Project ASOI), which gives students the opportunity to familiarize themselves with international institutions through study trips.

While at IACA, the group had an interactive Q&A session with IACA staff and took a tour of the campus. The students showed a keen interest in the organization’s history and mission, as well as in its role in anti-corruption and compliance education, training, and capacity-building.

IACA Dean Meets Slovak Prime Minister

Mr. Martin Kreutner, IACA’s Dean and Executive Secretary, met H.E. Mr. Robert Fico, Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic, in Bratislava on Wednesday to discuss and develop specific ways of preventing and countering corruption more effectively.

This initial meeting took place in the context of Slovakia’s efforts – which also include, inter alia, discussions between Mr. Fico and the OECD - to strengthen the fight against corruption in the country and more broadly. A series of different joint activities with IACA is envisaged during the coming months and beyond.

Slovakia became a Party to the Agreement for the Establishment of IACA as an International Organization in 2011.

Making Progress in Millimetres: A Conversation with Drago Kos

Drago Kos is Chair of the OECD Working Group on Bribery and a member of IACA’s frequent visiting faculty. He has a long and distinguished record in fighting and preventing corruption, both in his native Slovenia and at the international level.

On 4 and 5 July Mr. Kos will be on campus to share his experiences in the 2017 “Best Of” seminar. In this short conversation with IACA, he gives a glimpse of some of the themes he will discuss with participants over those two days.

Looking at the overall approach of the OECD Working Group on Bribery, will enforcement and monitoring remain the primary focus or will there be engagement too?

Drago Kos: Well, we have a very clear priority which is directed towards enforcement, but we’ve reached a stage where it is clear that we can save a lot of resources if we engage a bit more on the prevention side. Meaning, we have to do everything that we can to motivate countries and to also engage them in preventing bribery. We can see in reports that more and more attention is being paid to this issue. I just hope this trend will continue.

Could you tell us a little about your plans to engage the business sector more in fighting corruption? How do you create incentives for companies rather than just focusing on enforcement?

DK: My goal, and hopefully I’ll manage to convince the group, is that we shouldn’t only give companies softer treatment when they already face the court for bribery offences. We also have to motivate them in a positive way, which means rewarding organizations that put resources into developing effective compliance systems and fighting corruption. There are countries that already have some potential solutions – such as restricting public procurement tenders to companies that already have proper compliance mechanisms in place, or awarding these firms extra points when evaluating bids. A similar concept could be applied to export credits and official development assistance.

But who would judge or evaluate whether companies meet these compliance and anti-corruption standards and whether they are eligible for public contracts?

DK: This is a very complicated issue. In countries that have had responsibility of legal persons in place for a long time and where effective compliance systems are mitigating circumstances, such as in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and Italy, it’s either a prosecutor or a judge who decides if the compliance system in place is a good one. There are also some countries - Peru and Chile, for example - where private companies specialize in assessing the compliance systems of other businesses. However, we are still not convinced this is the best possible solution, because we don’t know how seriously those companies take the criteria or even which criteria they look at in the first place. So this is a question that remains to be answered in the future, but it will be a very important one.

We’ve talked about enforcement and engagement, but what impact can education and training have in the fight against corruption?

DK: A crucial one. What we have to do is start with education at the earliest stages of development of our children, if possible in kindergarten. Additionally, we all have to be reminded again and again that ethics, integrity, and honesty are very important features of our lives. I think that continuous training or refreshment training on those issues is of crucial importance, not only for public sector institutions, but also for private sector organizations and NGOs.

In your “Best Of” seminar at IACA in July, you’ll be addressing the question of whether individuals can achieve anything against corruption. Can they?

DK: I am firmly convinced that they can achieve a lot, because at the end of the day, it is always up to individuals to make decisions. They can make the crucial difference between acting honestly or dishonestly. That’s why in almost all my meetings with the police, the courts, and so on I say it is not only the police or the prosecuting authorities who address situations. It is not only the organizations where they work. It is them, the individuals, who make the decision to act corruptly or not.

You often talk about making progress against corruption in millimetres. Is that optimistic or pessimistic?

DK: I would call it realistic. There are people who claim that the development of new anti-corruption legislation and the establishment of anti-corruption agencies did not help. But we see that so many new laws have been adopted and are being implemented. We see so many anti-corruption agencies being established and being effective. We see that living conditions for people are improving. At the same time, these things are not happening to the extent that we would like to see. So that is why I say you can’t change things or life in kilometres. It is in millimetres, but it is very steady and secure development.

For more information and to register for the “Best Of” seminar with Drago Kos, please click here.

Fourth IACA Alumni Reunion - Register Now

IACA is now welcoming registrations for its fourth annual Alumni Reunion, which will take place on 6 and 7 July this year at the Academy’s campus in Laxenburg.

The event, timed to coincide with the final two days of the 2017 IACA Summer Academy, will offer extensive networking opportunities as well as interactive lectures with leading anti-corruption experts.

Sharing their latest insights will be Michael Johnston, Distinguished Professor at IACA and Charles A. Dana Professor of Political Science Emeritus at Colgate University, Drago Kos, Chair of the OECD Working Group on Bribery, Daniel Li, former Deputy Commissioner and Head of Operations of the Hong Kong Independent Commission against Corruption (ICAC), and Malika Aït-Mohamed Parent, former Under-Secretary General for Governance at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and a graduate of the MACS 2014 – 2016 class.

The reunion will immediately follow the “Best Of” Seminar with Drago Kos on 4 and 5 July. IACA is offering a special package price to those wishing to attend both events.

The Alumni Reunion is open to individuals who have participated in one of IACA’s academic degree programmes or an open or tailor-made training. For more information and to register, please click here.

Yemeni Ambassador Visits IACA

H.E. Mr. Haytham Abdulmomen Shoja'aadin, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Yemen to the International Organizations in Vienna, paid a courtesy visit to IACA today for discussions with Mr. Martin Kreutner, Dean and Executive Secretary.

The meeting explored possible collaboration in anti-corruption capacity-building and scholarships for IACA trainings. Mr. Kreutner also conveyed the Academy’s interest in Yemen ratifying the Agreement for the Establishment of IACA as an International Organization, but added that IACA fully appreciates the difficult circumstances in the country at present.

IACA-GIZ Event Discusses Anti-Corruption Strategies for Small and Medium Enterprises

The role of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the fight against corruption was the focus of a lively discussion co-hosted by IACA and German development agency GIZ at the OECD Integrity Forum in Paris last Friday.

More than 140 Forum participants attended the event and contributed actively to the exchange of ideas. Prominent themes included, among others, the unique vulnerabilities of SMEs to corruption, the need to tailor anti-corruption standards and regulations to specific countries and situations, and finding new ways to encourage SMEs to adopt – and thrive by  ethical practices.

To watch the panel discussion, please click here (starting around 01:57:30).

The panellists were Eduard Ivanov, a member of the academic team in IACA’s Compliance and Collective Action Department, Cristian Ducu, Senior Ethics & Compliance and Sustainability Expert at the Centre for Advanced Research in Management and Applied Ethics, and Chief Editor of Ethics and Compliance Magazine, Romania, Bartosz Makowicz, Director of the Viadrina Compliance Center, European-University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), and Fadi Saab, Chairman of Trans Capital Finance, Chairman of the Anti-Corruption Committee at ICC-Lebanon, and Senior Advisor to the World SME Forum.

In addition, comments on the panel discussion were offered by Miriam Koreen, Head of the SME Division and Deputy Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Local Development and Tourism at the OECD, and Carsten Schmitz-Hoffmann, Head of Division, Economic and Social Development, GIZ. The event was moderated by Elena Helmer, Director of IACA’s academic programmes.

IACA  in addition to the well-established and highly reputed Master in Anti-Corruption Studies (MACS)  recently launched its new International Master in Anti-Corruption Compliance and Collective Action (IMACC), the world’s first master’s programme specially designed for professionals involved with the business sector in these fields. For more information and to apply, click here.

Tailor-made Training for Indian Vigilance Officers

Vigilance officers from India’s Central Vigilance Commission, Ministry of Railways, and various public sector companies today concluded a two-week tailor-made training at IACA. This is the third such programme that the Academy has delivered for Indian vigilance officers following two previous editions in 2016.

Topics covered included current international efforts to curb corruption, the role of institutional leadership in combating corruption, and recent developments in Indian law and the broader Indian anti-corruption environment. The programme also included study visits to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Audit Unit of the Vienna city administration.

Sessions were delivered by members of IACA’s frequent visiting faculty and other external experts, including Elisabeth Täubl (Austrian Central Office for Prosecuting Economic Crimes and Corruption), Drago Kos (Chair of the OECD Working Group on Bribery), Johannes Schnitzer (Schnitzer Law), Samira Musayeva (UNCITRAL), James Finniss ‎(United Nations Office of Internal Oversight Services), Jeroen Maesschalck (Leuven Institute of Criminology), Chizu Nakajima (University of Cambridge), and Mark Bocchetti (MLex).

IACA faculty members Martin Kreutner, Abhishek Bharti, Elena Helmer, Eduard Ivanov, Jongsam Yang, and Martin Zapata also lectured.

Tailor-made trainings are IACA’s customized programmes for specific organizations, corporations, or institutions, addressing the unique challenges that each one faces in preventing and fighting corruption. For more information, please click here.

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