Flughafen Berlin-Schönefeld GmbH, the federal and state government owner, has recruited independent monitors to police an anti-corruption pact that airport designers, suppliers and contractors must sign. The "Integrity Pact" commits both sides of contracts to eschew corruption. The contractually binding agreement was developed by Transparency International, an independent anti-corruption group. Adopting it will "send a clear signal in support of fair competition and corruption prevention," says Thomas Weyer, the owner’s technical director. "We will take a strict line in enforcing the rules."

The pact sets precise rules governing behavior of the owner and contractors, including disclosure of all payments. Violations by project participants can lead to contract cancellation or fines worth 5% of contract value. While anti-corruption pacts have been used around the world, the one at the Berlin airport will be Germany’s first to include independent policing, says Transparency International. Peter Oettel, a retired senior Berlin-based engineer, leads the monitoring team.

Aiming to get the airport open in 2010, Flughafen Berlin-Schönefeld hired most of its German-based design teams late last year and began trial borings at the site. Located at the former East Berlin airport, the project will extend an existing runway, add a second one and provide a new terminal and transportation links.

Owned by the federal and local state governments, Flughafen Berlin-Schönefeld will use public funds to pay for the work. An attempt a decade ago to get the project built and operated privately flopped when the preferred bidder and owner failed to agree to terms. Construction will be bid this year.

s more global engineers and contractors agree to self-police project corruption, one major owner in Germany will do it for them on Berlin’s, $2.6-billion international airport at Schönefeld, the country’s largest airport project.