What to report?
The Council of Europe is committed to the proper use of its funds and resources, the prevention of fraud, corruption, and other wrongdoing, as well as the protection of its reputation and interests.
What is the DIO competent to investigate?
The Investigation Division shall act upon allegations of fraud, corruption, and/or wrongdoing that could affect the Council of Europe’s interests. The DIO also acts upon harassment complaints involving the Secretary General, the Deputy Secretary General, the Director General of Administration or the Director of Human Resources.
- "Fraud" means 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;
- "Corruption" means 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;
- “Wrongdoing” may be any act or omission, whether recent or historical, that affects the public interest and has occurred, or is likely to occur, in the context of Council of Europe activities.
Fraud and corruption affect the public interest and are therefore regarded as wrongdoing. Secretariat members must report any knowledge or suspicion of corruption or fraud carried out in the context of Council of Europe activities.
Other examples of wrongdoing that shall be reported to the DIO include: breaches of the Council of Europe’s regulations, rules, or policies which affect the public interest (such as abuse of privileges and immunities or breach of a staff member’s duties of loyalty and integrity); interference with the functions of the Council of Europe’s organs or bodies; institutional discrimination or other actions undermining equal opportunity; risks to the health, safety or security of persons involved in Council of Europe activities, or environmental risks; actions or omissions undermining the security of the Council of Europe's information system; violations of contractual terms by third parties involved in the Council of Europe’s activities.
What is the DIO not competent to investigate?
The Investigation Division acts upon allegations falling within its mandate. Alerts concerning other matters should be sent to the bodies competent to act upon them, for instance:
- harassment complaints should be sent to the Directorate of Human Resources, if they do not concern the Secretary General, the Deputy Secretary General, the Director General of Administration or the Director of Human Resources (if they do concern them, they need to be reported to the DIO);
- complaints regarding the judicial activities of the European Court of Human Rights should be sent to the address below:
European Court of Human Rights
Council of Europe
F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex
(complaints about the substance of decisions and judgments are not deemed to constitute allegations of wrongdoing which would need to be examined by the DIO)
- communications related to execution of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights should be sent to the DGI-Execution of judgments department;
- communications related to fraud and corruption in a Council of Europe Member State should be sent to the competent national authorities of the respective state.
Who should report?
Secretariat members are obliged to report any act or omission which could reasonably be considered as wrongdoing affecting the public interest.
"Secretariat members" is a notion encompassing all permanent and temporary staff, trainees, seconded officials and study visitors of the Council of Europe, including the Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly.
Reported wrongdoing could concern:
- a Secretariat member or a group of Secretariat members,
- persons involved in Council of Europe’s activities or members of the Council of Europe's organs, bodies, committees and working groups, or
- Council of Europe contractors or their employees or subcontractors.
The Council of Europe encourages persons who want to report wrongdoing but who are not Secretariat members to also use the above-mentioned reporting channels.
- A seconded official manipulated a table showing the analysis of bids in a procurement process, in order that a particular supplier achieved the highest rating.
- A staff member maintains a relationship with a supplier. That staff member had changed the supplier’s offer in order that the supplier’s bids were successful, without receiving anything in return from the supplier.
- A Secretariat member has forged documents to unduly receive allowances and/or be appointed at the CoE without having the required education and work experience.