The last twenty years have brought increased international awareness that corruption seriously damages governments, societies and economies and needs to be addressed in a comprehensive manner. Even Switzerland, despite its highly developed system of integrity safeguards and stable institutions, is not immune from corruption.
In 2008, in response to a recommendation from the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), the Federal Council tasked the FDFA with creating an interdepartmental working group on corruption in order to improve the efficiency of collaboration between federal government offices and agencies at various levels.
The resultant IDWG on Combating Corruption comprises all Federal Administration offices involved in anti-corruption activities and the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland. A core group within the Federal Administration, which plans the work of the IDWG and issues strategic guidelines, comprises representatives from the Federal Office of Justice (FOJ), the Federal Office of Police (fedpol), the Federal Office for Defence Procurement (armasuisse), the Federal Office of Personnel (FOPER), the Federal Office for Buildings and Logistics (FOBL), the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the Federal Roads Office (FEDRO) as well as the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland. The chairmanship and secretariat of the IDWG and core group are attached to the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA).
The IDWG on Combating Corruption has been tasked by the Federal Council with improving the exchange and flow of information between the different federal offices, cantons, communes, the private sector, civil society and academia. It achieves this by organising workshops on specific themes. The IDWG on Combating Corruption also discusses developments in the international anti-corruption conventions and forums, such as the Council of Europe/GRECO, UN Convention against Corruption, OECD Working Group on Bribery and the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group. The core group coordinates Switzerland's stance on different issues at international level, which is very important since different federal offices are responsible for representing Switzerland in these bodies.
The IDWG on Combating Corruption is also required to report regularly to the Federal Council on its activities and on developments in the field. Furthermore, it drafted the Federal Council's Anti-Corruption Strategy 2021–24 and promotes its implementation by the relevant administrative units.