1.2 Codification and dissemination of ethical standards
Many military bodies already have codes of conduct recounting general rules of behaviour and reminding the reader what values underpin them. However, most of these do not focus on corruption issues and do not offer specific guidance on how to recognise corruption or how to act when witnessing or being invited to participate in a corrupt act.
In order to be effective, codes of conduct or the material accompanying them need to specify the expected standards of behaviour and provide guidance on how to navigate complex ethical and strategic situations where corruption and integrity could be important factors. These codes should be widely disseminated among personnel and ideally supported by training that could allow staff time to digest both dilemmas and guidance.
Codes of conduct should also carry clear sanctions for breaches, be that in peacetime or during deployments. In some cases – especially related to corruption – breaches of the Code will also be criminal offences punishable by law. However, professional codes of conduct can reinforce these sanctions and make clear that integrity standards are an important part of being able to do one’s job effectively.
- Transparency International – Defence & Security guidance on what constitutes an effective Code of Conduct is available here.
- Command Group
- Anti-corruption point of contact