Bribery and corruption

High Level Reporting Mechanism (HLRM) for preventing bribery


A tool for preventing bribery and related practices involving public officials

Preventing corruption in the public sector is essential to ensuring the efficient allocation of public investments and delivery of priority services to citizens. It preserves the credibility of public projects and the image of a government as a whole. Corruption risks need to be anticipated and addressed at an early stage to ensure that the whole government does not become tainted by isolated practices or is held back in achieving policy goals.


The High Level Reporting Mechanism (HLRM), jointly developed by the OECD and the Basel Institute of Governance, is a reporting mechanism created by a group of international stakeholders to effectively address complaints of bribery solicitation and related practices that involve public officials. Upon receipt of a complaint, the HLRM triggers a process of rapid analysis and pragmatic response on the part of a government. Examples of different contexts can include public procurement, the issuance of commercial licenses, tax refunds and the release of goods by customs authorities. The goal is to restore the status quo before a reported problem escalates further and to allow interactions between public and private stakeholders to proceed smoothly.


The HLRM can be customised according to the needs and reality of different countries. Representatives of the public sector, business, civil society and other stakeholders participate in its design and implementation. The HLRM anticipates a whole-of-a-society approach to tackling corruption and enhancing public integrity as described in the 2017 OECD Recommendation of the Council on Public Integrity.


Two countries are already using customised models:

  • In Colombia, the HLRM is located in the Office of the Presidency, reporting directly to the President

The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted international business and trade, laying a fertile ground for corruption and unethical behaviours. As countries continuously rely on public tendering to procure the necessary goods and services to their citizens, the economic context calls for pragmatic solutions to ensure both the integrity and continuity in procurement processes. More than ever, anti-corruption Collective Action and High Level Reporting Mechanisms in particular, can offer extra protection in such processes. As they provide a non-judicial channel to report suspicions of misconduct with a view to bring a timely and pragmatic response, High Level Reporting Mechanisms ensure the much needed continuity of the provision of goods and services by governments.



How to implement the HLRM

The OECD and the Basel Institute of Governance offer support to governments that facilitates the efficient development of a customised HLRM. We can help to identify relevant domestic stakeholders or evaluate different institutional and legal options in a given jurisdiction. We work with governments to accompany the development, implementation and monitoring of the HLRM.

Read more about the HLRM

Read more about the HLRM via the Collective Action Hub


Documents and links

Tackling bribe solicitation with the High-Level Reporting Mechanism for preventing bribery (2020)

Panel session on the HLRM (2018)

Designing a High Level Reporting Mechanism for Business - A Guidance Note for Governments (2015)

High Level Reporting Mechanisms in Colombia and Ukraine (2015)

Impact Story: The High Level Reporting Mechanism (2014)

 Ukraine Business Ombudsman Council

 OECD Recommendation on Public Integrity

 More on fighting corruption in the public sector





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