“Corruption is the misuse of entrusted power for private gain or advantage.”
What is corruption?
In Switzerland, corruption is the term used to describe improper activities by persons in positions of trust – in the public sector, in the justice system, in politics, in national and/or international companies, or in non-profit organisations (such as associations or foundations) – in order to obtain undue material or immaterial advantage.
Below are some examples of corruption:
- Public sector:
- - A federal authority awards a contract to a company directly, although the contract should have been put out to tender
- - An employee of a public company accepts a generous gift from a private company. This is considered a bribe. The gift may also take the form of benefits, invitations, money or a new function or position.
- Private sector:
- - A Swiss company pays money to a foreign company to convince it to bring its product to market.
For companies with international business dealings, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) has compiled the most important information on how to avoid corruption.
On 25 November 2020, the Federal Council adopted The Federal Council’s Anti-Corruption Strategy 2021–24. The strategy defines a number of goals, from prevention and prosecution to international cooperation, and presents measures specifically directed at the Federal Administration, which it should implement.
How do I report suspected corruption?
You can anonymously report suspected cases of corrupt activities in the Federal Administration and in organisations with close links to the administration using the whistleblowing platform of the Swiss Federal Audit Office (SFAO).
If you would like to file a criminal complaint regarding acts of corruption in the Federal Administration or in organisations with close links to the administration, you can contact the Office of the Attorney General in Switzerland in writing. It is not possible to file reports anonymously via this channel.
The Federal Office of Police fedpol is responsible for police investigations regarding acts of corruption at federal level. You can also report acts of corruption directly to fedpol in writing via this contact form. It is not possible to file reports anonymously via this channel.
If you have indications of acts of corruption in the administration of a canton, city or commune, please contact a cantonal or local ombudsperson’s office, compliance office or whistleblowing office. If you wish to file a criminal complaint, please contact the cantonal police or the cantonal public prosecutor’s office directly.
If you are a private individual or an employee of a Swiss company and have information about acts of corruption abroad, please contact the relevant reporting office or anti-corruption authority, the police or the public prosecutor's office in the country in question. As an employee of a company, we recommend that you consult the Swiss embassy in the relevant country beforehand.
If you have any indications of acts of corruption concerning projects of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA or the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC, please contact the FDFA Compliance Office.
Last modification 14.03.2023