International organisations that collaborate with Wageningen increasingly often ask for WUR’s anticorruption policy. Banks also warn against dealing with countries and people occurring on the UN sanctions list. The Executive Board therefore decided to draw up an anticorruption code for its personnel.
Wageningen University & Research is involved in many international development projects, including some in countries that are not doing well on the corruption list. And it could happen that Wageningen researchers have to deal with various aspects of corruption. Last year, an incident took place in which a partner requested money from a WUR employee without offering anything in return. There are countries where such a ‘facilitation payment’ is not forbidden. WUR now has clear rules regarding how to handle such a situation.
It is important for staff members to know that this could happen and how they should deal with it, says Frans Pingen, lawyer for WUR. In such an event, it is necessary that the employee report the matter with their supervisor and enter discussions with the international partner to explain that Wageningen does not operate in this way. As a matter of fact, it is not the only example of bribes that Pingen has encountered in recent years. ‘But as far as we know, it barely ever happens.’
The code explains that WUR wants to do business in an honest and ethical way and does not accept corruption nor bribes. Additionally, Wageningen University & Research staff members should make a clear distinction between the interests of WUR and their own personal interests, abide the law, report bribery attempts and make sure that their international partners also keep to the code. Staff members may not accept any gifts that exceed 50 euros in value, for example.
The code also states that WUR does not participate in educational and research projects in countries which systematically violate the international sanctions of the United Nations. This includes bribes, cybercrime, laundering of criminal money and financing terrorism.
The participational councils have agreed with the anticorruption code last week. The code will soon be implemented.
The anticorruption code will be placed here.