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The German Anti-Corruption Initiatives Section outlines key anti-corruption activties in the country. 

German Anti-Corruption Initiatives

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The following section describes the key business anti-corruption initiatives initiated by organisations in Germany.

Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development considers corruption to be a major handicap for economic development with devastating consequences for society, economically, politicaly and socialy. To fight bribery within its programmes it has adopted a zero-tolerance policy concerning its own ranks and its financial and technical cooperation with external partners. German development policy addresses the tackling of corruption and economic crime at various levels:

International cooperation

At an international level Germany supports the creation of and adherence to international anti-corruption standards through active involvement in the United Nations, World Bank, Group of Eight (G8), Group of Twenty (G20) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Germany attaches great importance to working for greater transparency in sectors that are susceptible to corruption. In particular, it is involved in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). Germany has also been working closely with Transparency International since its inception.

Bilateral cooperation

The tackling of corruption is a field of assistance within the priority area of "Democracy, civil society, governance" and a cross-cutting task of German development cooperation.

Through its anti-corruption strategy, the BMZ uses innovative approaches and explicitly demands stronger private sector cooperation. Alongside the German Global Compact Network, the BMZ is developing an “Alliance for Integrity” within the private sector. As a large-scale alliance between the state, private sector and civil society, it aims to promote integrity-minded behavior in developing and emerging countries within the sphere of business partners and in the complete economic system.

For further information refer to the BMZ's Good Governance page, which outlines the activities of the BMZ and other significant stakeholders within the German development cooperation.

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ)

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ)

The federally controlled Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH supports Germany in achieving its objectives in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development. GIZ operates throughout Germany and in more than 130 countries worldwide. It has a set of integrity measures which prohibit all forms of corruption in its internal and external operations.

GIZ's staff members are obliged to ethical and transparent conduct and the omission of all forms of corruption defined in the organization's Code of Conduct (GermanEnglish). Violations can be reported anonymously to the GIZ integrity advisor or an external ombudsperson. Several schemes to prevent corruption such as mandatory procedures and responsibilities in procurement, job rotation, increased use of IT-systems and internal and external inspections have been implemented.

When contracts are awarded, the party contracted by GIZ signs an integrity agreement. The objective of the agreement is to acquaint the contractor with GIZ’s integrity system and to oblige the contractor to observe its contents and take relevant precautions. In case of violation the GIZ integrity advisor and the external ombudsperson can be contacted as well. Possible sanctions are the termination of contracts and contractual penalties, e.g. in cases of bribery.

Capacity Development GIZ, on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, supports partner countries in the prevention and fight against corruption and promotes the responsible use of funds. Special attention is given to assisting partner countries in implementing the UN Convention against Corruption. GIZ supports anti-corruption commissions and ministries in fostering integrity in public administration, the judiciary and sectors of basic service delivery.

As part of the GIZ's work to engage private sector actors in corporate responsibility, its Business Unit Private Sector Cooperation coordinates the German Global Compact Network. Financed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development as well as business, this business-driven multi-stakeholder forum promotes exchange and lessons learned from good practice on human rights, labor standards, environment and corruption prevention.

Alliance For Integrity

Alliance for Integrity (Afln)

Alliance for Integrity (AfIn) is a business driven multi-stakeholder initiative between multinational companies, civil society, political organizations and international institutions.

The aim of AfIn is to promote integrity among companies, their business partners and other relevant actors in the economic system. In addition, it contributes to better framework conditions by fostering dialogue between the public and private sector.

Principles of Action

AfIn follows these principles:

  • Mutually beneficial partnerships among relevant actors: AfIn takes a multi-stakeholder approach.
  • Openness: all companies, institutions and organizations can join AfIn, given they support AfIn’s goals and principles.
  • Goal-orientation and utilization of synergies: AfIn builds on and improves existing and proven instruments, formats and initiatives.

Field of Action

In order to achieve its goals, AfIn organizes activities across a range of different levels with diverse target groups and implementation partners:

1. Peer-to-peer learning and international dialogue: AfIn promotes mutual understanding of specific challenges in different contexts and countries, sharing lessons learned based on best practice examples as well as suggestions for anchoring integrity in the organization /company;

2. Public private dialogue: AfIn fosters the exchange between business, civil society and political actors to promote an enabling environment for integrity;

3. Awareness raising and information-sharing across a wider professional audience: AfIn seeks to promote the relevancy and advantages of integrity for business and society, as well as advocate the engagement and support of AfIn through relevant actors;

4. Training and train-the-trainer programs: AfIn aims to improve the compliance capabilities of companies in international supply chains.

To join the Alliance, please download the Letter of Support.

KfW Bankengruppe

KfW Bankengruppe

KfW Bankengruppe is an institution under public law giving impulses for the economy, society and ecology in Germany, Europe and the world. Part of the group is the KfW Entwicklungsbank which finances investments and accompanying consulting services in developing countries on behalf of the BMZ. KfW Bankengruppe handles the topic of corruption prevention with special attention and diligence. Its business policy does not tolerate the use or acceptance of bribes or other forms of corruption, and this policy is binding for all employees. 

The German National Committee of the ICC (in German)

The German National Committee of the ICC (in German)

The International Chamber of Commerce is a private international organisation promoting and supporting global trade and globalisation. With member companies in over 130 countries, it works towards the liberalisation of trade and investment within the multilateral trading system. The German national committee voluntary rule-writing for business spreads best practices in areas as varied as banking, marketing, anti-corruption and environmental management. It has published theICC-Code of Conduct for Combating Corruption in Business Connections (in German) as a catalogue for its recommendations.

Chambers of Industry and Commerce

Chambers of Industry and Commerce

The Chambers of Industry and Commerce are autonomous organisations under public law which promote the interests of German businesses. There are regional chapters and a national one in Germany as well as chambers in a number of countries that are of special interest for German firms.

Federation of German Industries (BDI)

Federation of German Industries (BDI)

The Federation of German Industries (BDI) is the umbrella organisation for industrial businesses and industry-related service providers. As the representative of the interests of industry the BDI coordinates the views and recommendations of its members. It supplies support for businesses keeping pace with intensive competition resulting from globalisation.