Action you can take to reduce risk of corruption

Transparency of public procurement in the event of a crisis

Public procurement must be transparent even in times of crisis. For reasons of extreme urgency brought about by events unforeseeable by the contracting authority or entity, where there is no time to carry out the procurement or there are other circumstances that prevent it, it is permissible to negotiate with a potential contractor without prior publication (pursuant to section 49 (1) 3) of the Public Procurement Act). However, even in this case, integrity must be maintained, the decision must be reasoned and the procedure documented.

Access Info Europe, in cooperation with four European anti-corruption organisations, has issued a guideline entitled “Ensuring Transparency in Emergency Procurement: Recommendations”, which sets out ten recommendations for public procurement in crisis situations. Compliance with the recommendations will help to prevent corruption and ensure that public funds are used fairly.

Recommendations

To take the right action in corruption and conflict of interest situations, the Internal Security Service, National Criminal Police and Prosecutor’s Office have similar guidelines that individuals, business people and officials should follow. Following the guidelines helps to ensure the right behavioural model, best practices, a more secure spread of information and adequate response and solution to the incident. The timely communication of information on the incident to law enforcement bodies is very important and it is also important that the information not end up in the hands of third parties who may try to release it publicly or use it for other purposes.

Corruption must be reported in the case of justified suspicion if you know the public servant to have broken the law, abused their power or committed another offence.

Corruption can be reported around the clock by calling the National Criminal Police tip line 612 3657, emailing korruptsioonivihje@politsei.ee or calling the Internal Security Service tip line at 612 1500.

Guidelines for conduct for individuals and business people

What should entrepreneurs or individuals in the event of incident involving corruption?

If you learn of a situation where a partner in a transaction with you or your company is a state or local government institution and the official deciding on the transaction is a close relative of yours by blood or marriage, it is prohibited for that official to conduct the transaction with you or your company.

If the official asks or demands a bribe or gratuity (gift, money, service, share of the transaction, future return etc.) do the following:

  • refuse the offer
  • determine the procedure(s) that the official intended to do or omit in exchange for a bribe (gratuity)
  • report it to the Corruption Crimes Bureau, Internal Security Service or Prosecutor General
  • if the offence is in the remit of the Corruption Crimes Bureau, report the incident to the corruption tip line 612 3657, send the information to the corruption tip email address korruptsioonivihje@politsei.ee or turn to the nearest corruption crimes bureau regional division
  • if the offence is in the remit of the Internal Security Service, report the incident to the corruption tip line 612 1500 or turn to the nearest Internal Security Service regional office
  • do not spread information about the incident publicly or to the public

Guidelines for conduct for officials

What to do as an official in the event of corruption or a conflict of interests?

If you happen to face a situation where you may have a conflict of interest between official duties and personal interests, you must withdraw from the respective decision-making and notify a superior.

If you are given, offered or promised a bribe or gratuity (gift, money, service, share of the transaction, future return etc.) do the following:

  • refuse the offer
  • determine the procedure(s) or omission that is desired from you in exchange for the bribe (gratuity)
  • determine the identity of the person promising or offering or giving the bribe or gratuity and the person in whose interests this is being done
  • if the gratuity ends up in your possession, keep it in a safe place until you contact the investigative authorities (this may constitute important evidence in proceedings on the offence)
  • find a witness (such as a colleague) if possible
  • document the incident in writing as soon as possible and report it to your superior and either the Corruption Crimes Bureau, Internal Security Service or Prosecutor General
  • if the offence is in the remit of the Corruption Crimes Bureau, report the incident to the corruption tip line 612 3657, send the information to the corruption tip email address korruptsioonivihje@politsei.ee or turn to the nearest corruption crimes bureau regional division
  • if the offence is in the remit of the Internal Security Service, report the incident to the corruption tip line 612 1500 or turn to the nearest Internal Security Service regional office
  • do not spread information about the incident publicly or to the public