First report of the Interdepartmental Working Group on Fighting Corruption (last modification, the 20.04.2011)

Berne, Press release, 20.04.2011

On Wednesday, the Federal Council approved the first report of the Interdepartmental Working Group (IDWG) on Fighting Corruption. This assessment of the current situation with regard to national and international activities to fight corruption confirms the high standard of integrity and resistance against corruption in Switzerland. At the same time, room for improvement was identified in some less central areas such as dealing with conflicts of interest and transparency. The report also states that the emerging markets should be held more strictly to account at the international level.

Switzerland is very closely following international developments and efforts to fight corruption. It is active in the most important international bodies of the OECD, the Council of Europe and the UN, and in the last few years has taken a leading role in the restitution of illicit assets of politically exposed persons, for example.  

Corruption not only slows down the political and economic development of countries, it also causes market distortions which harm the interests of the Swiss economy. Switzerland is convinced that it is necessary to pursue efforts to achieve a stronger commitment by the emerging markets to the fight against corruption. Swiss export companies must be allowed to operate under the same conditions as local companies. It is not only Swiss companies that should be bound by the anti-corruption rules of foreign authorities.

Switzerland has a good record with regard to corruption by international comparison: integrity is the general rule in Swiss institutions; corruption the very rare exception. The report nevertheless notes that there are instances of insufficiently developed sensitivity in areas important for preventing corruption such as dealing with conflicts of interest and ensuring transparency. In addition, the problem of the fight against corruption is not accorded the necessary interest in political circles, business or the media.

The report identifies a number of issues that the anti-corruption working group will probably have to address in future, including transparency in the financing of political parties and election campaigns, extending the obligation to report to new areas, the right to report, and the protection of whistle-blowers at outlying administrative units, measures to combat corruption in the areas of development aid and peace promotion, and the effectiveness of rules against private corruption (Federal Act of 19 December 1986 on Unfair Competition, UCA). 

The Interdepartmental Working Group on Fighting Corruption was set up at the end of 2008. It is made up of the most important offices concerned of the Federal Administration, the Office of the Attorney General and representatives of the private sector, the cantons, cities and civil society. The Working Group develops joint national and international strategies to fight corruption and regularly publishes reports. This first report informs the Federal Council, Parliament and interested sections of public about the major challenges in the fight against corruption.

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Further information:

Interdepartmental Working Group (IDWG) on Combating Corruption

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