Guidance material

Building integrity during times of crisis or emergency

These resources aim to help state and local government sectors review and strengthen integrity responses and improve capacity to prevent corrupt conduct during times of emergency and crisis.

The current COVID-19 pandemic is having an unprecedented impact on social and work environments. Significant funding and other measures are being progressively announced and implemented by all levels of government in response to the public health, economic and social impacts of the pandemic. This is in addition to the funding committed in response to the state's bushfires emergency last summer, which significantly affected seven local government areas.

The need for an immediate response to emergencies, coupled with remote work arrangements and pressing demands on our public sector, presents new opportunities and risks for corruption. Experiences in other jurisdictions and overseas also show that changes to the way government services are delivered during times of crisis can create misconduct and corruption risks.

To support the Victorian public sector, IBAC has identified key corruption risks facing state and local government agencies during emergencies and crisis situations, associated warning signs or ‘red flags’, and suggested prevention measures to help minimise risk.

These information sheets highlight corruption risks during times of emergency and alerts public sector agencies to opportunities to strengthen systems, and practices to mitigate them. It is appropriate that agencies review their corruption prevention and detection strategies during times of crises, to ensure strategies are effective in minimising misconduct and corruption risks, but also proportionate to the circumstances.