Corruption is a serious obstacle to development. To fight corruption is a necessity since it weakens the political system and undermines the democratic processes.
This is why the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation applies zero tolerance against corruption.
Corruption can take many forms, but all types of corruption have in common that it is an abuse of power or money in order to reach personal and/or financial gain.
So called “kick-backs” – i.e. an illegal commission to a person from a supplier or similar – and nepotism are two forms of corruption especially relevant to be aware of when working with political parties in developing countries.
It is important that the projects of the Foundation are designed in a responsible way, assuring that corruption can be combated. While active political parties are of utmost importance as a guarantee against mismanagement and to build democracy, it has been shown that political parties and their representatives are particularly exposed to corruption. By having good knowledge of our co-operation partners and paying special attention to warning signals, we can minimise the risk of corruption. Further, we can minimise the risks by making our staff and volunteers aware of the risks, and by giving them knowledge about different types of corruption.
The Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation’s zero tolerance policy against corruption means that its staff and volunteers must ensure:
– to never participate in any kind of corruption, whether financial or through other benefits,
– to always react to suspected irregularities,
– to never exploit a position of power in order to give himself/herself or others benefits they would not otherwise have, and
– to always behave in a way that cannot be seen as a requirement or expectation of different services and benefits they otherwise would not have.
Check-list to prevent and to fight corruption:
- Open dialogue
To maintain an open dialogue with our co-operation partners on issues of corruption and political mismanagement as well as to promote openness and transparency. In this way we make our partners aware of the problem, and support them in their development of internal systems for management and control.
- Budget assessment
The connection between budgeted costs and the activity is assessed by the Foundation’s staff. The greater the level of detail, the less the risk of corruption. Are the estimated costs reasonable in accordance with the current cost level in the country?
- Implementation of activities
Our goal is to always have a project manager or another representative in place during the activities. This in order to pay invoices and expenses directly to the suppliers of goods and services, as well as to follow up that costs correspond to what was agreed in the budget of the activity.
- Selection of participants
By not giving financial compensation other than travel reimbursement and other costs directly related to the activity, we reduce the risk of corruption.
For foreign trips or particularly desirable seminars, there is always a risk that the selection of participants might be based on nepotism. We prevent this by maintaining an open dialogue with our partners and paying attention to if participants do not belong to the defined target group.
This policy must be communicated to employees and volunteers, and included in agreements with partners.
The Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation makes it possible to report suspicion of corruption and irregularities by using the whistle-blower function of SIDA.
Report suspicion of corruption or irregularities directly to the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation or to SIDA.
Suspicions of corruption received by the Foundation shall be handled by the Foundation’s management and chairman, who in consultation decide on measures. Employees or volunteers who report suspicions of corruption must not be subject to reprisals.