Corruption Prevention Strategies of the Berlin Water Utility

Case Study

Context

The Berliner Wasserbetriebe (BWB) utility company proactively developed an anti-corruption strategy in 2007, emphasizing a zero-tolerance approach to corruption and including preventative measures to counter any occurrences of corrupt behaviour.

At the time of the development of the strategy, cases of misconduct had been investigated at the BWB, but the decision to implement an anti-corruption strategy was primarily spurred by a perceived increase in corruption cases in Germany.

 

Action

The anti-corruption strategy covered three main areas of action:

  • Communication (publication of tariff information, letters and information sent to suppliers, online information on corruption, internal communication work)
  • Capacity development (training for employees and managers specifically on risks and anti-corruption)
  • Prevention and whistle-blower protection (creation of an integrity committee, designation of an external ombudsman, auditing)

 

Lessons Learned

for implementing company-wide corruption prevention strategies:

  • Internal and external communication must be integrated as key elements of the strategy
  • To make efforts sustainable, continuous monitoring and adaptation processes should be in place.

 

Anti-corruption strategies such as this one, are now part of the Integrity Management Toolbox for Water Service Providers