The founding of the Hungarian chapter of Transparency International in 1996 was a milestone in the history of the fight against corruption in Hungary. The aim of this non-governmental organization - functioning in the form of an association - was to investigate and to conduct research to reveal the causes, the nature, and the different forms of corruption, in order to formulate recommendations for establishing a legal and economic environment that is disadvantageous for corruption. After an intensive first decade, the general assembly of the association decided to abolish the organization in 2005 without a legal successor. Regarding the period leading to the abolition of the organization, there was no civil-society organization in Hungary in the preceding few years that was specifically designed to fight against corruption, although continuous non-governmental oversight would have been indispensable to the appropriate functioning of democratic institutions.
Many Hungarian researchers participated in the project, coordinated by the international secretary of Transparency International, of examining the transparency of structural funds. After the successful cooperation, the experts participating in the project looked for further allies and decided to establish a new organization as the Hungarian chapter of TI. The team received the National Contact Point status of TI in August 2006. Accordingly, the team undertook responsibility for creating a civil-society organization that fights against corruption in Hungary, in accordance with the values and principles of TI.
The Transparency International Hungary Foundation was registered in October 2006, and it received the status of “Chapter in Formation” in 2007. The advisory board asked Noémi Alexa to become the executive director of the foundation. After two years of successful operation and the closure of the accreditation process, the organization became a full member of Transparency International in 2009. At the end of 2007, the National Integrity System study was prepared, which showed which were the fields where it was the most urgent to step up against corruption. We still rely on the findings of this research when preparing and carrying out professional programs.
The work of the foundation is led by the advisory board, which consists of five members. It is responsible for strategic planning and operative functions as well. The activity of the foundation is controlled by a supervisory board that consists of three members. The Hungarian chapter of TI is financially independent from the center in Berlin and raises the necessary funds for its work on its own. The activity of the foundation is supported by international funds, EU sources, and corporate and private sponsors, among others. (See: OUR PARTNERS) However, during our work, we rely significantly on the experience, methodology, and research results of the international network of TI.