Corruption weakens a society by undermining a country’s values of democracy, stability and rule of law. Furthermore, it saps institutions, impedes trade and curbs investment. Corruption also compromises the effectiveness of international cooperation. Therefore, SECO fights corruption on several fronts.
Corruption impairs a country’s ability to drive sustainable development. People loose trust in the government and public institutions. There is less incentive to invest, and firms and consumers have to pay more for services. In addition, the poorest members of society are often most affected by corrupt authorities.
Fighting corruption in partner countries
SECO’s activities seek to support developing countries’ anti-corruption efforts. SECO promotes transparency and efficiency in business and public administration. It works with local and national authorities in partner countries to develop rules and implement reforms that make them less vulnerable to corruption.
Zero tolerance of corruption
SECO does not tolerate any degree of corruption in its projects. The same applies to organisations it is working with. In the event of any corrupt activities, SECO will end the partnership and demand restitution of disbursed funds. Anyone who is involved in or who tacitly condones corruption will face disciplinary measures or criminal proceedings.
SECO’s international cooperation is well equipped to fight corruption.
Prevention forms part of all project phases. Anyone who has a suspicion may either report it directly to SECO or anonymously to the Swiss Federal Audit Office. Both addresses are open to SECO employees and the public.