In its latest briefing document, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development says it is imperative that fundamental safeguards of the rule of law and public integrity are not weakened or disregarded in both the immediate response as well as the longer-term recovery from Covid-19.

‘While remaining cautious of the need to be able to respond to urgent needs, corruption risks should continue to be identified, assessed and actively mitigated on an ongoing basis, including by raising awareness of mitigation strategies,’ it says. ‘Corruption prevention measures under relevant OECD anti-corruption, integrity, procurement and competition standards should continue to apply.’

The OECD advises that anti-corruption risk assessments should be integrated throughout programme design and delivery phases, in the areas of economic stimuli, subsidies, official development assistance, and export credits. Actual instances of corruption and bribery should be addressed comprehensively, using a whole-of-government approach where possible.

It adds that whistleblowers are critical and must be protected. The use of existing reporting mechanisms should be encouraged, and reports of misconduct taken seriously and investigated.

The full briefing, Policy measures to avoid corruption and bribery in the COVID-19 response and recovery, can be found here.