OECD Public Integrity Handbook

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The OECD Public Integrity Handbook provides guidance to government, business and civil society on implementing the OECD Recommendation on Public Integrity. The Handbook clarifies what the Recommendation’s thirteen principles mean in practice and identifies challenges in implementing them. The Handbook provides guidance on improving co-operation within government, as well between the national and subnational levels. To build cultures of integrity across government and society, the Handbook details the core elements of a merit-based human resource management system and the key ingredients of open organisational cultures. It also clarifies government’s role in providing guidance to companies, civil society and citizens on upholding public integrity values. Moreover, the Handbook unpacks how to use the risk management process to assess and manage integrity risks, and highlights how to use the enforcement system to ensure real accountability for integrity violations.

English Also available in: French, Spanish, Arabic, Ukrainian, Portuguese, All


This chapter provides a commentary on the principle of a merit-based system contained within the OECD Recommendation of the Council on Public Integrity. It describes how a merit-based and professional public sector dedicated to public service values contributes to public integrity. It focuses on setting predetermined, appropriate qualification and performance criteria for all positions, along with objective and transparent personnel management processes. Moreover, it demonstrates how open application processes that give equal access to all potentially qualified candidates, and oversight and recourse mechanisms that ensure consistent and fair application, contribute to the broader public integrity system. The chapter also addresses the four commonly faced challenges related to merit-based systems: timely decision making; recruiting new skills and competencies; ensuring representation and inclusiveness; and addressing the fragmentation of public employment.

English Also available in: Ukrainian, French, Portuguese, German, Spanish

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