Anti-Corruption Policy

WAN-IFRA’s Anti-Corruption Policy is based on the principles and spirit of the United Nations Global Compact, as well as Transparency International’s Business Principles for Countering Bribery.

WAN-IFRA’s mission is to promote media freedom – and the economic independence of media as an essential condition of this freedom –  amongst its members and globally. As the media plays a critical role in checking and balancing public and private institutions in societies, WAN-IFRA understands first-hand the positive impact that transparency and accountability have on promoting democratic societies, as well as the insidious impact of corruption on public and private life.

Transparency International defines corruption as ‘the abuse of entrusted power for personal gain’.

WAN-IFRA adopts a zero-tolerance stance on corruption. WAN-IFRA repudiates all forms of corruption, bribery, fraud or any other undue business practice or activity. WAN-IFRA commits to taking prompt and corrective action whenever wrongdoing is discovered amongst its board, management, staff, contractors, consultants or partners.

This policy should be read in conjunction with the following WAN-IFRA documents:

  • WAN-IFRA Whistle Blower Protection Policy
  • Statement of Ethical Business Practice for Suppliers
  • WAN-IFRA Ethics and Equal Opportunity Policy
  • WAN-IFRA Procurement Policy

Additional Resource

Anti-Corruption Ethics and Compliance Handbook for Business, released in 2013 by the Secretariats of the OECD, UNDOC and the World Bank. Read more.

WAN-IFRA adopts a three-pronged approach to mitigate corruption: Prevent, Monitor, Expose.


WAN-IFRA adopts the following actions to prevent corruptive practices amongst its staff, suppliers and partners.

Education and Awareness Raising

All WAN-IFRA staff and consultants are made aware of WAN-IFRA’s zero tolerance policy during induction. New staff and contractors are also given instructions on reporting suspected cases of corruption. All staff and consultants are provided with the WAN-IFRA Whistle Blower Protection Policy, Ethics and Equal Opportunity Policy, Procurement Policy, and, are requested to sign the Declaration of Ethical Business Practices for Suppliers.

Clear and Comprehensive Procedures

WAN-IFRA has clear procedures in place to ensure that employees have the tools required to prevent corrupt practices. This includes a procurement toolkit, which contains comprehensive procurement procedures, as well as template supporting documents such as a procurement checklist, interview questionnaires and reference checks. WAN-IFRA’s media freedom staff and  consultants are provided with the Media Freedom Administrative Manual , which outlines appropriate procedures for travel, invoicing, and reporting requirements.

Risk Assessments and Due Diligence

WAN-IFRA conducts three levels of risk assessment:

  1. Internal Risks: Monthly management meetings to assess organizational risks
  2. Programme Risks: Media Freedom staff conduct risk assessments as part of its project planning and programme development activities using a templated Risk Assessment Tool
  3. Partner Risks: WAN-IFRA conducts comprehensive due diligence on all potential sub-grantees, including its own research on reputation and activities of potential sub-grantees, and through the issuing of WAN-IFRA’s Sub-Grantee Due Diligence and Risk Assessment Questionnaire for Partners’ which is used to assess the financial state and organizational structure and capacity of potential sub-grantees.


WAN-IFRA adopts the following procedures to regularly monitor for corruption

  • External Financial Audits with Notes
  • Double signatures on expenses and invoices
  • Requirement of multiple tenders on all venues, hotels and other services
  • All staff and individuals collaborating with WAN-IFRA are formally required to alert their hierarchical superior or the project’s responsible person whenever they receive cash, entertainment or other gifts or courtesies. All benefits of a value exceeding 100€ are to be refused.


WAN-IFRA adopts a clear whistleblower policy on cases of suspected corruption. If a staff member suspects corrupt behavior or practice, s/he is instructed to address the President or CEO to air his/her suspicions. At this stage, it will be decided which way to escalate the matter.

Media Freedom consultants are advised to approach their direct manager in cases of suspected corruption. In instances where the direct manager may be implicated, the consultant is instructed to escalate the issue to WAN-IFRA CEO, or Chairman of the Media Freedom Advisory Board, Lars Munch, who provides independent oversight of WAN-IFRA’s media freedom activities.

WAN-IFRA assures staff or consultants that retaliation against whistle blowers, including harassment, termination, and blacklisting, will not be tolerated and will result in disciplinary action.

Update: May 2016


Audit An internal or external examination of an organisation’s accounts, processes, functions and performance to produce an independent and credible assessment of their compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

Accountability The concept  that individuals, agencies and organisations (public, private and civil society) are held responsible for reporting their activities and executing their powers properly. It also includes the responsibility for money or other entrusted property.

Bribery The offering, promising, giving, accepting or soliciting of an advantage as an inducement for an action which is illegal, unethical or a breach of trust. Anything of value given in an attempt to affect a person’s actions or decisions in order or to gain or retain a business advantage.  Anything of value includes cash, entertainment or other gifts or courtesies. Inducements can take the form of gifts, loans, fees, rewards or other advantages (taxes, services, donations, favours etc.).

Conflict of interests Situation where an individual or the entity for which they work, whether a government, business, media outlet or civil society organisation, is confronted with choosing between the duties and demands of their position and their own private interests.

Extortion Act utilising, either directly or indirectly, one’s access to a position of power or knowledge to demand unmerited cooperation or compensation as a result of coercive threats.

Fraud To cheat. The offence of intentionally deceiving someone in order to gain an unfair or illegal advantage (financial, political or otherwise). Countries consider such offences to be criminal or a violation of civil law.

Procurement A multi-step process of established procedures to acquire goods and services by any individual, company or organisation — from the initial needs assessment to the contract’s award and service delivery.

Transparency Characteristics of governments, companies, organisations and individuals of being open in the clear disclosure of information, rules, plans, processes and actions. As a principle, public officials, civil servants, the managers and directors of companies and organisations, and board trustees have a duty to act visibly, predictably and understandably to promote participation and accountability and allow third parties to easily perceive what actions are being performed.

Whistleblowing Making a disclosure in the public interest by an employee, director or external person, in an attempt to reveal neglect or abuses within the activities of an organisation, government body or company (or one of its business partners) that threaten public interest, its integrity and reputation. The term in English is largely positive although many languages lack a similar concept with the same connotation.


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