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Notes from IACA, Part One: Siemens, a model worth replicating

Image courtesy of SiemensI recently had the pleasure of teaching in the International Anti-Corruption Academy’s Masters Program. It’s a teacher’s dream: 30 students from all around the world, with a keen interest in corruption prevention, and several years of practical experience. 

These students hailed from 20 different countries of wildly diverse geographic origin and degrees of development: Germany, Switzerland, the U.S., Australia, Brazil, India, Singapore, Malaysia, El Salvador, Bahrain, Uganda, Sierra Leone, just to name a few. The viewpoints and accents flying around that room were dizzying, in the most stimulating of ways.

And we discussed the extraordinary historical moment that this program represents. Our parents and grandparents were not having these conversations, and for so many reasons: many governments would have prohibited it; airline travel was a privilege of the elite; and most fundamentally, we would not yet have come to share the fundamental conviction that corruption is something we really can change.

Still, many of these students could not have financed their way to Vienna but for one very good idea: the Siemens Integrity Initiative

As a term of its settlement with the World Bank, Siemens set aside over $100 million to fund anti-corruption initiatives around the world. Part of that money is now used to provide scholarships to qualified and deserving anti-corruption professionals to participate in IACA’s programs. These capable students deepen their understanding of corruption issues, get to study with the world’s thought leaders (they just finished working with Robert Klitgaard, Michael Johnston, and Nikos Passos), and just as importantly from a teacher’s perspective, contribute their unique perspectives on anti-corruption theory and practice for the benefit of us all.

Anti-bribery settlements are famously hefty. There’s a lot of money there. Imagine — just imagine — if we replicated the Siemens model. Imagine if we took a small portion of that settlement money to fund anti-corruption initiatives in those countries where bribery most often occurs, and where the people suffer the most.

Would that not advance the cause? Wouldn’t everyone come out looking, and feeling, better?

But what would we do with the money? I asked the students this question. Their answers?  Next post.


Andy Spalding is a Senior Editor of the FCPA Blog and Assistant Professor at the University of Richmond School of Law.

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  1. Wonderful! How exciting! Thanks for this report!

  2. Dear Andy Spalding,

    Thank you for post on the Siemens Integrity Initiative.

    More information about our Collective Action activities and the Siemens Integrity Initiative (status of projects, application process, eligibility criteria, etc.) can be found at and in our annual reports, which can be downloaded on our website.

    With best regards
    Sabine Zindera,
    Siemens AG, Collective Action Team

  3. Empowering professionals from all over the world in the outlined manner – be it in IACA’s Master programme or any of the other activities – can lead to a real, lasting, and tangible "impact story as (an) impact story can possibly be".

    Our expression of gratitude therefore to all so committedly involved: to students, IACA faculty and staff, enablers (like the Siemens Integrity Initiative, to name just one), the FCPA blog, and all colleagues and friends in the global AC and compliance arena,

    Martin Kreutner
    IACA Dean and Executive Secretary
    Laxenburg/Vienna, Austria

  4. Dear Professor Spalding,

    I have modestly 9 suggestions to offer.
    1. Donation to IACA to sponsor students from the country or the business affected by the bribery from which the settlement has been obtained.
    2. Create a micro credit initiative (with ROI) on anti-corruption project with financial incentive as funding mechanism to reimburse the loan
    3. Support a coalition of civil society groups to report on corruption
    4. Support a coalition of civil society groups to monitor enforcement
    5. Prevention program for officials
    6. Modelisation of effective anti-corruption programme (based on the business case of the settlement) for transfer of knowledge (e.g. Romania “Partners for Local Development Foundation – FPDL”
    7. Think Tank with opinions leaders in a community including religious leaders and mother clubs
    8. International competition of Anti-Corruption initiatives in partnership with universities as side event of UNCAC meeting.
    9. Get anti-corruption teaching as part of the former curriculum of schools

    and for sure advocate for FCPA Blog as a vehicle of effective transfer of knowledge.

    Greetings from Geneva, Switzerland,


  5. When revolving door was built between International Transparency and Siemens compliance, will you still believe the assessment is independent?

    When the Monitor's salary was paid by Siemens, Will you be surprised that the report turned blind on repeated bid rigging behaviors?

    When Siemens delisted from U.S. right after being whistleblowed, do you believe the reason it claimed to do reverse decision in early 2002?

    It will be a shame for organization like IACA to sell the integrity for white-wash corporates. Save your credibility by posting this comment.

    Former Siemens China Healthcare Compliance Officer and whistleblower plaintiff against Siemens and EY

  6. How does Siemens respond to this report: dated 30th July 2015

    'Disparities exist between what the company has reported publicly about its anti-corruption efforts and what it reports at industry conferences. These include the specific types of alleged wrongdoing reported by company whistleblowers and data indicating that while the number of credible complaints has gone up in recent years, disciplinary actions have declined.'

  7. Thank you Professor Spalding.

    Being one of the beneficiaries of a scholarship, I am grateful to IACA and everyone who has made it possible for me to participate in the prestigious and life changing Program.


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