DIO is accountable to the Secretary General in relation to all internal presumptive fraud or corruption matters.

The DIO is empowered to receiving and acting upon information regarding fraud and corruption. DIO investigates on request by the Secretary General or on its own initiative.

Senior managers as well as Secretariat staff involved in procurement must declare to the Secretary General any personal interest which might affect their objectivity regarding the award of a contract. They are obliged to take into consideration, in so far as they know or can be reasonably expected to know, the interests of their spouses, partners, parents and children. DIO collects these declarations and follows up in cases where they might be a conflict of interest based on the declarations or other information received.

Please note that the Directorate of Internal Oversight is only mandated to examine and investigate cases of suspected fraud and corruption relating to the implementation of the Council of Europe’s activities and the use of its funds and resources. Any other alert concerning the non-respect of the Council of Europe's rules by the staff members should be sent to: drh@coe.int.

Any cases of suspected fraud and corruption relating to the implementation of the European Court of Human Rights’ judicial activities should be sent to the address below with the mention “private” on the envelope. Complaints about the substance of decisions and judgments are not deemed to constitute allegations of fraud for the purposes of this procedure and will therefore not be examined.

The Registrar
Fraud Alert
European Court of Human Rights
Council of Europe
F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex

Communications related to the execution of the European Court’s judgments should be sent to: DGI-Execution@coe.int.

Policy Framework for dealing with Fraud and Corruption

The Policy Statement by the Secretary General on Awareness and Prevention of Fraud and Corruption which was issued along with Rule 1327 states that "The Council of Europe is committed to the proper use of its funds and resources, the prevention of fraud and corruption and the protection of its reputation and interests."

In line with Rule No. 65 of 28 June 2016 on investigations, the Director of Internal Oversight shall act upon reports or other indications of suspected fraud and/or corruption. S/he shall record and, if possible, acknowledge receipt of such reports. S/he shall then decide, on the basis of a preliminary assessment, whether there are sufficient reasons to open an investigation or not and whether to inform the Secretary General or not on the results of the preliminary assessment.

Rule No. 1327 of 10 January 2011 on awareness and prevention of fraud and corruption sets out:

  • the definitions of fraud and corruption:

The term "Fraud" shall be used to mean any illegal act or omission characterised by deceit, concealment or violation of trust, perpetrated to obtain money, property or services; to avoid payment or loss of services; or to secure personal or business advantage, irrespective of the application of threat of violence or of physical force.

The term "Corruption" shall be used to mean requesting, offering, giving or accepting, directly or indirectly, a bribe or any other undue advantage or prospect thereof, which distorts the proper performance of any duty or behaviour required of the recipient of the bribe, the undue advantage or the prospect thereof.

  • the rights and obligations in relation to reporting suspected fraud and corruption,
  • the framework for the protection of individuals who report reasonable suspicion of fraud and corruption or who co-operate with an investigation by DIO.

The rights and obligations apply to all members of the Council of Europe Secretariat at any level who have a duty to report any reasonable suspicion of fraud or corruption.

The provisions of the rule apply also to specially appointed officials and persons who are not Council of Europe Secretariat members but participate in the Council of Europe’s activities, wherever they may be held. They are encouraged to report any reasonable suspicion of fraud or corruption directly to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

Which kind of information is necessary when Fraud reporting?

When providing information, please include sufficient detail describing if possible:

  • What has happened;
  • Who is involved;
  • Where it took place;
  • When did the incident take place;
  • Why you consider it took place;
  • How did it take place.

It should be noted also that the transmission of allegations in relation to suspected fraud or corruption which the reporting person knows are incorrect constitute a breach of the internal rules of the Council of Europe.

Is Fraud reporting anonymous?

In accordance with rule Rule No. 1327 of 10 January 2011 on awareness and prevention of fraud and corruption "The identity of a person reporting information [...] shall not be disclosed, unless expressly authorised by him or her."

Rule 1327 also provides for protection of individuals who report reasonable suspicion of fraud and corruption, this protection can only be provided if the persons reporting information make their identity known to DIO.

If you do not wish to divulge your identity, please do still provide some contact details, in order that DIO can request further information as part of their preliminary assessment.

The reporting of fraud and corruption will instigate a preliminary assessment to establish basic facts.  An investigation will only be undertaken if the DIO believes that a material fraud or corruption may have been committed.

Please note that when contacting either the e-mail account or the Hotline the e-mail address/phone number used will be visible to DIO staff authorised to access the messages.

Training on fraud and ethics

DIO delivers training courses on fraud awareness and ethics which include advice on best practices in procurement and how to spot red flags for fraud.