Integrity infrastructure model

BIOS has developed an integrity management system: the Integrity Infrastructure Model. This model is based on the observation that integrity policies within organisations often have a fragmented character. The model is consequently designed to connect integrity activities within government organisations.

The Integrity Infrastructure Model  combines hard, soft and operational controls, provides a cyclic approach, because the policies are also evaluated, and finally, it devotes explicit attention to the coordination and institutionalisation of integrity. This is integrated in the seven core aspects of integrity management:

Integrity policies can only succeed if the top of the organisation is willing to promote them and to provide sufficient resources for them. Additionally, it is necessary that the top develops a clear vision on integrity management: why do we want to pay attention to integrity, how do we define it, what strategy do we follow, what is our ambition?

Public sector values and standards constitute the underlying basis for integrity policies. It is therefore important to establish the organisational values and standards and then to document them in a code of conduct. This will make it clear what the organisation and the employees represent and what they can be held accountable for.

Values should be supported by a clear set of organisational rules and procedures. These are often summarised as internal administration and control systems. Examples are: work processes, the ‘four-eyes’ principle, separation of duties, and job-rotation procedures.

Integrity is also an important subject for HR and should, for example, be part of recruitment, selection, screening and exit policies. In addition, introductory meetings, internal courses and staff meetings seem natural occasions on which to raise employee awareness and to improve the organisational culture.

Investigating and sanctioning unethical behaviour is important. It gives a signal that integrity is highly valued and reduces the risk of future breaches. Provisions aimed at reporting and enforcement (such as reporting hotlines, integrity advisers, and investigation protocols) are important integrity elements.

Monitoring integrity policies and programmes is necessary in order to be able to evaluate and to improve the functioning of the integrity policies. Evaluations provide information about the implementation and effectiveness of the integrity policies.

The above integrity activities should be firmly embedded within the organisation. An integrity officer is the person appointed to develop the integrity management system for the organisation, to coordinate all integrity activities and actors and to advise the line management. This officer should draft an integrity plan/document which should cover all issues of this kind.