On 24 October 2019, the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI) in cooperation with the Viadrina Compliance Center (VCC) of the European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder) and the German Institute for Compliance (Deutsches Institut für Compliance e.V., DICO) held a conference under the title "Integrity and Compliance Management - An Open Discourse". Around 100 invited guests from federal and state authorities, the private sector and science took part in the event.
The aim of the conference was to promote the exchange between the public and private sectors on benefits, functions and organisation of holistic approaches to integrity and compliance management and to highlight new developments in the field.
Klaus Vitt, State Secretary at the BMI, welcomed the participants and stressed out the importance of integrity for the credibility and legitimacy of all actors in the state and society. Subsequently, Prof. Dr. Bartosz Makowicz of the VCC explained the various dimensions of integrity in his introductory speech.
In the following panel discussions, it became apparent that, despite the differences in terms of objectives and constitution, public and private sector can learn a lot from each other in promoting a culture of integrity and in building up the necessary capacities. In both cases, communication plays a key role.
An appealing and innovative form of communication on integrity issues was presented in the afternoon:
The panel, moderated by Susanne Friedrich, Director of the Alliance for Integrity, on "Learning through play - Serious Games and other digital methods" dealt with the opportunities and challenges of using digital games to promote integrity. Based on the thesis that "applied gaming means applied learning", gamification expert Christoph Deeg vividly described the opportunities entailed by games adapted to the real world of the target group. The complexity of integrity with its grey areas and dilemmas can be reproduced in games and the practical, playful confrontation with it can lead to learning effects. In order for the technologies to show the desired success, however, it is extremely important to clearly define the target group and learning objectives in advance, emphasised both Martina Koger from the Austrian Federal Bureau of Anti-Corruption (BAK) and Prof. Dr. Tanja Rabl from the Technical University of Kaiserslautern. Serious Games (games with a serious background) can – well done and embedded in a comprehensive strategy – make a meaningful contribution to promote integrity.
Erwin Schwärzer, Head of the Division for Digital Society and Information Technology at the BMI, concluded the conference with an appeal: "Even if the topic of corruption is not at the top of the agenda in Germany, it is by no means a phenomenon that only occurs abroad. That is why an open discourse on the topic is important also in Germany.”
Authors: Susanne Friedrich and Bega Tesch