IACA Webinars


IACA Webinars

International Anti-Corruption in Procurement:
Lessons from the Pandemic

Thursday, 9 July 2020, at 15:00 CET

We are pleased to invite all interested professionals to join us for this interactive webinar on the effects of emergency procurement in the Covid-19 era.


The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created unprecedented challenges to health, social welfare, economies, and supporting supply chains. Health concerns, confinement measures and border closures adopted in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis have caused severe disruption in the supply and distribution chains of goods, works and services that the public sector needs. Many governments have turned to emergency procedures, to alleviate the negative impacts of COVID-19 on their populations and economies, but some of these recent measures may have unintended consequences. While relaxing procurement rules can help governments respond more quickly to a growing health pandemic, there are also significant risks associated with looser restrictions. Increasing risks of fraud and corruption have been created through a number of developments, including derogationsor relaxation of public procurement rules and a desire to short-cut or eliminate “administrative and bureaucratic” requirements; a massive amount of money disbursed quickly into a number of markets; a boom of donations and gifts made either on a voluntary basis or in order to respond to a “solicitation” by a public authority; and emergency efforts to address shortages of some goods or other urgent needs.
The aftermath of this pandemic could be an opportunity to design resilience-oriented procurement strategies based on the selection of reliable providers; the creation of a portfolio of providers to be activated in the case of emergency; and the use of contracts to allow flexibility and the assurance of sound procurement outcomes.

Whistleblowing and whistleblower protections in the Covid-19 era

Monday, 8 June 2020, at 14:00 CET.

We are pleased to invite all interested professionals to join us for this interactive webinar on whistleblowing and their protection in the Covid-19 era.


Whistleblowing has proved to be an effective means of unearthing complex and often hidden corruption practices and regulatory infractions. Yet the protection of whistleblowers continues to be a serious challenge in most jurisdictions. This, in turn, undermines the effectiveness of whistleblowing as a potent tool to detect corruption cases. Experts believe that COVID-19 virus pandemic has heightened the risk of corruption and fraud in the private, public and non-profit sectors. In particular, procurements carried out in emergency conditions in the health sector, and the huge stimulus packages provided in many countries to businesses and individuals, have provided opportunities for corrupt practices to emerge.

The global economic trend which shows signs of an oncoming recession exacerbate the danger of anti-corruption laws and regulations being violated as the business sector goes into survival mode.  While governments use emergency powers to handle the outbreak, it is imperative to have increased oversight of executive decisions by the judiciary, national audit institutions, ombudspersons, civil society and the media. This can be reinforced by providing a more conducive environment for whistleblowing disclosures and an increased focus on protecting those who choose to report wrongdoing and abuses directly outside their employment.

Our experienced practitioners will share their experience and best practices on how to manage retaliation risk once the whistle has been blown and how to empower whistleblowers to speak up.

Opening Remarks

Thomas Stelzer, Dean and Executive Secretary of IACA


Anna MyersExecutive Director, Whistleblowing International Network, Glasgow, UK


Leah Ambler

Legal Analyst and Manager, Latin America Anti-Corruption Programme, OECD, Paris, France

Karin Buzanich-Sommeregger

Partner, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Vienna, Austria

Fabian Teichmann 

President, Teichmann International, Zurich, Switzerland


Christopher Yukins

Lynn David Research Professor of Government Procurement Law at the George Washington University Law School

Professor Christopher Yukins serves as co-director of the government procurement law program at George Washington University Law School, and has taught there on contract formations and performance issues in public procurement, bid protests and claims litigation, state and local procurement, anti-corruption issues, foreign contracting, procurement reform, and comparative and international law. He has testified on issues of procurement reform and trade before committees of the U.S. Congress and the European Parliament. He is a visiting professor at the Université Paris Nanterre, where he lectures annually, and has taught a week-long course on procurement issues and corruption at the International Anti-Corruption Academy (Austria). He has spoken as a guest lecturer at institutions around the world, and he was a contributing editor to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime manual, Guidebook on Anti-Corruption in Public Procurement. He is an active member of the Public Contract Law Section of the American Bar Association, and is a member of the Procurement Roundtable, an organization of senior members of the U.S. procurement community.

He is a faculty advisor to the Public Contract Law Journal, is a member of the editorial board of the European Procurement & Public-Private Partnership Law Review, and is on the advisory board of The Government Contractor. He has worked on a wide array of international projects on capacity-building in procurement, and he was an advisor to the U.S. delegation to the working group on reform of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Model Procurement Law. Together with his colleagues, he runs a colloquium series on procurement reform at The George Washington University Law School. In private practice, Professor Yukins has been an associate, partner and counsel at leading law firms; he is currently counsel to the firm of Arnold & Porter.


Gavin Hayman

Executive Director, Open Contracting Partnership

Before joining the Open Contracting Partnership, Gavin Hayman was Director of Campaigns and then Executive Director of Global Witness. He oversaw the organisation’s groundbreaking and award-winning investigative, campaigning and advocacy work uncovering secret deals, corruption and conflict around the world. He helped create the international Publish What You Pay campaign and helped negotiate the intergovernmental Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative that brings together oil and mining companies, home- and host-governments and civil society to improve disclosure and oversight of over $1 trillion dollars of oil and mining money.

He is an expert on illicit financial flows, and helped lead global efforts to end the abuse of anonymous shell companies for money laundering and financial crime, including working with the British government’s recent presidency of the G8 and the Open Government Partnership. He has a Doctorate from the University of Reading and has worked with Chatham House in London and the United National Environmental Programme in the past on analysing and investigating global environmental crime.


Despina Pachnou

Competition Expert, OECD

Despina Pachnou joined the OECD in 2012. She currently heads the work of the OECD Competition Division on competition in public procurement and enforcement against cartels ( She led the adoption of the OECD Recommendation concerning Effective Action against Hard Core Cartels in 2019 ( She is currently developing an OECD Recommendation on Transparency and Procedural Fairness in Competition Law Enforcement, and started the revision of the OECD Recommendation on Fighting Bid Rigging in Public Procurement.

Before joining the OECD, Despina worked as a lawyer in public procurement and project development in energy and infrastructure, and advised the Greek Chapter of Transparency International on transparency and compliance in public contracts.

Despina holds a PhD in public procurement law from the University of Nottingham and a Master’s degree in European Union law from the College of Europe in Bruges.


Constantine Miltchev Palicarsky

Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer, UNODC

Constantine Miltchev Palicarsky is Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer in the Implementation Support Section of the Corruption and Economic Crime Branch of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

A lawyer with more than 20 years of experience, Mr. Palicarsky is a part of a team, based in both Vienna and in the field, that is responsible for providing technical assistance to States parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption for the more effective implementation of the Convention.

Mr. Palicarsky has been implementing and leading anti-corruption technical assistance projects in Central and Eastern Europe, former Soviet Union, the Pacific, Africa, South-East, East and Central Asia and the MENA region with focus on corruption prevention, support to anti-corruption agencies and effective UNCAC implementation.

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