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«ETHICS TRAINING FOR PUBLIC OFFICIALS A study prepared by the OECD Anti-Corruption Network for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ACN) and SIGMA, a ...»

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Anti-Corruption Network

for Eastern Europe and

Central Asia


A study prepared by

the OECD Anti-Corruption Network for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ACN)


SIGMA, a joint EU-OECD initiative, principally financed by the EU,

in co-operation with the OECD Public Sector Integrity Network

This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OECD and its Member countries or of the beneficiary countries participating in the SIGMA Programme.

This document and any map included herein are without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, city or area.

1 The OECD Anti-Corruption Network for Eastern and Central Europe The Anti-Corruption Network (ACN) is a regional outreach programme of the OECD Working Group on Bribery. The ACN is open to countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The main counterparts are the national governments and anti-corruption authorities of the participating countries. Civil society, business sector, international organisations and international financial institutions, as well as other countries take an active part in the ACN.

The ACN was established in 1998. Its main objective is to support its member countries in their efforts to prevent and fight corruption. It provides a regional forum for the promotion of anti-corruption activities, exchange of information, elaboration of best practices and donor coordination. The ACN operates through general meetings and conferences, sub-regional initiatives and thematic projects.

SIGMA SIGMA is a joint initiative of the European Union and the OECD, principally financed by the EU.

SIGMA provides assistance in five key areas: civil service management and administrative legal framework; public finance and audit; public procurement; policy making and coordination; public governance strategy and reform.

SIGMA assess: governance systems and institutions; legal frameworks; reform strategies and action plans;

progress in reform implementation.

SIGMA provides methodologies and tools to support reforms; recommendations on improving laws and administrative arrangements; advice on the design and implementation of reforms; opportunities to share good practice from a wide range of countries; policy papers and multi-country studies.

SIGMA works with: Croatia as an EU accession country; Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo*, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey as EU candidate and potential candidate countries; Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Georgia, Jordan, Lebanon, Moldova, Morocco, Tunisia and Ukraine as EU Neighbourhood countries.

The OECD Network for Public Sector Integrity This Network of the Public Governance Committee provides a forum for improving public sector governance through safeguarding integrity and preventing corruption in the public sector. The Network reviews trends, develops best practice guidelines, builds comparative data, disseminates lessons and supports a global policy dialogue with multiple stakeholders, at a time when these issues are high on the international agenda. Integrity is a key area in the Committee's programme of work, contributing to the OECD strategies for stronger fairer and cleaner economies through Open and Clean Government. The crisis has shown an urgent need to reassess how core public sector values, such as integrity, transparency and accountability, can be rethought and strengthened to prevent future deficiencies in the interface between the public and the private sector. Preventing corruption and safeguarding integrity also helps to restore trust in government, an overarching goal for public policies.

The Network also reviews issues related to risk areas at the interface between the public and private sector, including public procurement, lobbying, and post-employment conflict of interest. It supports the Public Governance Committee in implementing and reviewing progress made in relation to the following OECD


- C(2010)16 Recommendation of the Council on Principles for Transparency and Integrity in Lobbying

- C(2008)105 Recommendation of the Council on Enhancing Integrity in Public Procurement

- C(2003)107 Recommendation of the Council on OECD Guidelines for Managing Conflict of Interest in the Public Service

- C(1998)70 Recommendation of the Council on Improving Ethical Conduct in the Public Service Including Principles for Managing Ethics in the Public Service.

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is line with UNSCR 1244/99 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.


The preparation of this study was led by the OECD Secretariat, including Olga Savran, ACN Manager, and Francisco Cardona, SIGMA Senior Advisor. Janos Bertok, Head of the Public Sector Integrity Division, provided valuable guidance. Rebecca Hart of SIGMA provided assistance during the implementation of the project.

The Advisory Group, composed of Annelie Sihver from Estonia, Jordi Tres from Spain, Alvis Vilks from Latvia, Stefan Ritter from Austria, Patricia Zemple from the United States, Liljana Selinsek from Slovenia, Yasemin Tugce Inan from Turkey, Volker Jacoby and Jolita Vasiliauskaite from the OSCE, provided important contributions to the design of the project and reviewed the study. Nina Lindroos-Kopolo from the OSCE assisted in the promotion of the project. Public officials from 22 countries provided detailed information on ethics training for public officials in their country.

Manuel Villoria, Henk Bruning and Alberto Moreno de Tejada carried out the analysis of the trends in ethics training and drafted chapter 2. Stefan Ritter and Isabella Spazierer-Vlaschitz prepared the Austrian case study, Annelie Sihver drafted the case study on Estonia, Ahmet Coskun prepared the case study on Turkey, and Patricia Zemple prepared the case study on the United States. The checklist was developed by Aive Pevkur from Estonia and Olga Savran.



1.1. Ethics training as a part of a comprehensive anti-corruption and integrity policy

1.2. Political support and "leadership from above"

1.3. Legal requirement to provide and receive ethics training

1.4. Leading agency and coordination of ethics training

1.5. Targeting the training for specific groups of public officials

1.6. Making ethics training practical

1.7. Training about rules, values and "grey" areas

1.8. How to evaluate the effectiveness of the training


2.1. Why countries provide ethics training for public officials

2.2. What legal framework is needed

2.3. Which institutions are responsible for ethics training

2.4. Which groups of public officials need to receive ethics training

2.5. How to organise ethics training

2.5.1. Needs assessment

2.5.2. Selection of participants and duration of the programme

2.5.3. Selection of trainers

2.5.4. Training methods, internal evaluation and follow-up

2.6. Contents of an ethics training course

2.6.1. Rules for ethical behavior

2.6.2. Ethical values

2.6.3. Unregulated issues

2.6.4. Standard programme, syllabus or manual

2.7. How to evaluate the results of the integrity training


3.1. Austria

3.2. Estonia

3.3. Turkey

3.4. United States


–  –  –

Integrity in the public administration is an important condition for the effective functioning of the state, for ensuring public trust in the government, and for creating conditions for sustainable social and economic development.

Ethics training for public officials is one of the instruments for building integrity in state institutions and ensuring good quality public governance. The UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) requires that the State Parties "promote education and training programmes to enable them [public officials] to meet the requirements for the correct, honourable and proper performance of public functions and that provide them with specialized and appropriate training to enhance their awareness of the risks of corruption inherent in the performance of their functions."1 Training on integrity, ethics and anti-corruption is provided in many countries around the world, including countries with relatively high levels of integrity in public administration as well as countries where corruption is widespread. However, there are not enough data and research on good practices in this area.

Designing and delivering ethics training is a long term investment; it can be expensive, especially when it targets thousands of civil servants. It is also a high risk investment, as training alone will not be able to increase integrity. It is therefore important to know which programmes have the best design and produce the best results.

This study presents the findings of a project on ethics training for public officials implemented by the OECD-EU SIGMA Programme together with the OECD Anti-Corruption Network for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ACN) 2, in cooperation with the OECD Public Sector Integrity Network.

The study analyses existing approaches for ethics training in Eastern Europe and Central Asian countries and selected OECD member countries. It proposes recommendations on how to improve the effectiveness of ethics training, which can be used by countries when they develop their own ethics training for public officials. The policy recommendations are illustrated with case studies from Austria, Estonia, Turkey and the United States. The report also contains a checklist for a training programme based on the best practices identified in this study, which can be used by Eastern European, Central Asian and other countries to develop or to improve the effectiveness of ethics training programmes.

1 UNCAC, Article 7 (d).

2 The ACN includes Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. SIGMA works with EU accession, candidates and potential candidate states (Croatia; the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey; Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo*) and countries covered by the European Neighborhood Policy (Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Georgia, Jordan, Lebanon, Moldova, Morocco, Tunisia and Ukraine). This project focused mostly on the countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is line with UNSCR 1244/99 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.


The idea for this study on ethics training for public officials was proposed at the expert seminar on "AntiCorruption Policy and Integrity Training" organised by the OECD Anti-Corruption Network for Transition Economies (ACN) with the OSCE in Vilnius on 23-25 March 2011. During the seminar, experts from Eastern Europe, Central Asia and several OECD countries discussed how ethics training can contribute to fighting corruption and building integrity in public institutions, and agreed that "new and more advanced approaches, which included tailor-made practical ethics training about rules and values, delivered systematically by dedicated ethics officials, using an interactive approach" were needed.3 The project was developed by the OECD-EU SIGMA programme together with the ACN and in cooperation with the OECD Public Integrity Network. To guide the project an informal advisory group was established comprising experts from Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Spain, Turkey, United States, and OSCE field offices in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

The implementation of the project involved the following steps: (1) collection of data from the participating countries about the existing ethics training programme with the help of a standard questionnaire, (2) analysis of trends and development of policy recommendations for further improving ethics training for public officials, (3) preparation of case studies on selected countries to demonstrate useful approaches, and (4) elaboration of a checklist for training programmes to help ACN and SIGMA countries to develop and deliver effective trainings for their public officials.

The questionnaire was sent to public officials responsible for integrity training in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and several OECD countries. Feedback was received from the following 22 countries: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Tajikistan, Turkey, Serbia, Spain (Regional government of Catalonia), United States and Uzbekistan.

To analyse the data collected through the questionnaire and to identify the main trends, a team of consultants was formed by SIGMA. On that basis, the OECD Secretariat developed policy recommendations on ways to improve ethics training for public officials.

At the request of the OECD Secretariat, members of the advisory group from Austria, Estonia, Turkey and the US agreed to prepare case studies on ethics training for public officials in their countries and to provide examples of training programmes targeting different groups of officials and implemented in diverse cultural contexts.

The OECD Secretariat also hired an external consultant to develop the checklist that can guide countries in designing and delivering ethics training programmes to their own public officials. The checklist aims to provide the main approaches on the substance and training methods, which can then be further adapted to different groups.

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