Transparency and Integrity

Integrity and transparency cuts to the core of ethical organisational governance. 

An organisation’s dealings must be conducted with professionalism, integrity and regard for the law, without bias and with regard for the highest standard of ethical consideration, anti-corruption and transparency.

Organisations are subject to greater scrutiny and being held to account for their actions than ever before. By having transparent processes, and transparency in performance outcomes, stakeholders can be confident that the organisation is acting ethically.

Ethical conduct and operating with integrity will come down to three things:

Seven steps to good governance

Setting your organisation up to ensure that it runs with integrity, and that risks of corruption, illegal activities or no-compliance with regulations, requires identifying where the risk may be, and establishing systems to properly manage both the risks as well as organisational culture adjustments necessary.

1. Review risks

Review your organisation and its activities and identify risks relating to organisational integrity, transparency and governance.

2. Identify  and establish policies

Determine the policies which should be in place, and develop those policies. Refer to industry best practice, and in some cases, government regulation, for what should be included.

3. Formalise systems

Formalise the process for receiving, reviewing, investigating and responding to allegations.

4. Develop organisational culture

Identify where any risks of organisational culture meaning breaches or potential corruption from within and outside the organisation and work to re-build established norms.

5. Create a safe place

Encourage reporting of breaches or potential corruption from within and outside the organisation, ensuring your whistleblower policies give assurance and courage to those who wish to speak out.

6. Take action

Take action to rectify any compliance instances and to remedy any organisational culture challenges.

7. Disclosure

Report and disclose any incidents of corruption and action taken in response to incidents of wrong-doing.  

Transparency and integrity in practice


Transparency about your sustainable practices and approach to supporting sustainable development is of huge interest to a diverse range of stakeholders.

Transparency is the complete disclosure of information on the topics required to reflect impacts and enable stakeholders to make decisions.

Transparency is an essential aspect of ethical organisational governance and is a foundation of sustainability, as performance disclosure is key. 

Fair labour

Ensuring fair labour and working conditions is also part organisational governance with integrity.

This might include; not restricting or limiting the ability for staff, performers, or supply chain to be involved in labour unions or collective bargaining groups; playing your part in eliminating all forms of forced, compulsory, or child labour through your procurement decisions; ensuring discrimination is eliminated through your employment policy, that of sub-contractors, and through your supply chain/procurement choices.

Human Rights

Supporting and respecting the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights and ensures it is not complicit in human rights abuses. This must be enacted through the choices made in product, materials, and supplies procurement.


Corruption occurs through dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery. The sports sector has had some high profile corruption scandals. Corruption of course can occur through the supply chain and the level of entrenched culture of corruption will vary from location to location.

Read this potent example of a ticketing scandal…!


Having policies to counter any threat of unethical practices is a good step. These consider policies about transparency principles. You should also make all other policies available to relevant stakeholders, and in some cases this may mean publicly available. 

Transparency of your policies helps in implementing organisational governance effectively. It will;

  • Ensure ethical business conduct
  • Encourage whistle-blowing and protect whistleblowers
  • Investigate allegations of corruption
  • Establish, maintain and increase transparency and integrity throughout the project cycle
  • Inform all stakeholders on the rationale and process of decision-making, including policies to inform bidders about criteria for selection

What policies should we have?

You should produce organisational governance policies which ensure integrity and transparency of activities, to the degree that is relevant for the size, scale and complexity of your organisation and its projects. Examples of policies include:

  • Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy
  • Conflict of Interest Policy
  • Standards of Conduct Policy
  • Confidentiality Policy
  • Anti-Money Laundering Policy
  • Legal and Compliance Policy
  • Gifts and Invitations Policy
  • Whistleblower Protection Policy
  • Budget Transparency Policy

Transparency checklist for events

  • The audience is kept up to date with ticket release dates, event information, programming and other relevant information.
  • The supply chain is informed of securing contracts in a timely fashion and with written confirmation (purchase orders).
  • Staff and crew have access to information about working hours and conditions and are consulted and informed if any changes need to be made.
  • Regulatory authorities have access to relevant policies and plans at appropriate points throughout the event planning cycle.
  • Local community is kept informed of relevant information at key points during the event planning cycle.
  • Potential attendees should be kept up to date with ticket release dates, event information, programming and other relevant information.
  • Bidding and tendering processes should be transparent and not at risk of corruption.
  • Local community should be kept informed of relevant information at key points during the event planning cycle.
  • Performance outcomes should be disclosed.
  • Assurance and scrutiny by external parties such as NGO observers and standards certifying bodies.
  • Policies are in place to ensure transparency, anti-corruption and good governance.

Transparency in Sports

Transparency within the sporting sector of the event industry is also a major issue. Corruption can come in the form of match fixing or athlete doping.
Transparency International works within the sports sector, particularly in major sporting events, on prevention and education in match-fixing and good governance within sports bodies.
Recent concerns have included forced evictions and police brutality during preparations for the 2016 Rio Olympics, labour rights violations of workers involved in the construction of stadiums and infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar, the non-payment of wages at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and concerns over freedom of speech at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The Sport and Rights Alliance (SRA) is a coalition of leading NGOs, sports organisations and trade unions. It was founded in early 2015 to address the decision-makers of international sports mega-events to introduce measures to ensure these events are always organised in a way that respects human rights (including labour rights), the environment and anti-corruption requirements at all stages of the process – from bidding, through to the development and delivery phase to final reporting.  The SRA includes Amnesty International, Football Supporters Europe, Human Rights Watch, the International Trade Union Confederation, and Transparency International Germany.