High Level Reporting Mechanism (HLRM)

The High Level Reporting Mechanism (HLRM) enables alerts about suspected bribery or unfair business practices in public tenders to be raised and quickly resolved. Independent yet authoritative, it acts like an escape valve, defusing potential corruption-related issues before they cause damage.

Accusations of corruption in public works projects lead to delays, costly legal actions and a loss of credibility – not just for those involved in the project but for the government as a whole.

Developed by the Basel Institute on Governance, OECD and Transparency International, the HLRM is designed to meet private sector demands for a fast, independent and effective mechanism to address bribe solicitation by public officials. The concept is supported by the G20 and B20 business leaders around the world.

"Not a vaccine against corruption, but a very useful tool for clean procurement"

Gabriel Cifuentes, former Secretary of Transparency in the Office of the President in Colombia, talks about his experience in implementing the second High Level Reporting Mechanism, developed to ensure a clean procurement process for the construction of the Bogotá Metro. Find out more in the Colombia country case study below.

Key benefits

Good for governments

  • Demonstrates high-level political commitment to fight corruption
  • Sends a strong message that public procurement processes will be clean and fair
  • Flexible and easy to set up within existing institutions
  • Reinforces existing anti-corruption measures
  • Deterrent effect makes bribery less likely and helps avoid damaging accusations and investigations

Good for business

  • Fast, effective way to raise concerns
  • Levels the playing field in public procurement processes
  • Gives new players the confidence to bid for public projects, boosting competition and innovation
  • Greater peace of mind regarding compliance
  • Cuts delays in the procurement process and final awarding of the contract

Good for citizens

  • Gives confidence that public resources are being used responsibly
  • Public works contracts are more likely to be awarded to the bidder offering the best value for money
  • Smooth procurement process means projects should start on schedule
  • If appropriate, HLRMs can allow for citizens or civil society groups to raise alerts
  • Less likely that public funds will be needed to pay for lengthy legal investigations into corruption

Country case studies

How the HLRM works

The concept is simple and designed to be tailored to each country and project.

COLLABORATIVE DESIGN: Representatives of the public sector, business and civil society contribute to designing a HLRM that meets the needs of all stakeholders.

EASY IMPLEMENTATION: The HLRM is simple to implement in new or existing projects. It complements existing anti-corruption measures and is not weighed down by bureaucracy.

EARLY ALERTS: Stakeholders can raise alerts of potential bribery situations through secure, easily accessible channels.

RAPID RESPONSE: The designated independent panel of experts quickly analyses the alert and gathers all necessary information.

TRANSPARENT RESOLUTION: Through open discussion and mediation with all relevant actors, the issue is resolved with minimal loss of time and money.

PROCESS PROTECTED: The project can then continue smoothly, with enhanced levels of trust between public and private stakeholders.

CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT: As an independent mechanism with a close-up view of corruption issues in public tenders, the HLRM is a useful source of analysis and advice for governments.

Presenting the HLRM at the OECD Integrity Forum 2018

Support in implementing a HLRM

The Basel Institute on Governance and OECD offer comprehensive support to governments in developing, implementing and monitoring an effective HLRM.

Contact Gemma Aiolfi for more information.

Gemma Aiolfi

Head of Compliance, Corporate Governance and Collective Action
+41 61 205 56 74