Global Compact Steps Up Anti-Corruption Efforts

Global Compact Steps Up Anti-Corruption Efforts

The Financial


The FINANCIAL -- The United Nations Global Compact, in collaboration with a broad alliance of business participants and other stakeholders, has stepped up efforts to advance awareness and implementation of its tenth principle on anti-corruption.

According to Global Compact, the integration of anti-corruption into the corporate responsibility agenda has sent a strong worldwide signal that business shares responsibility for the challenges of eliminating corruption. Yet, the issue still presents one of the most difficult implementation challenges.

To further advance the anti-corruption agenda, the Global Compact Working Group on Anti-Corruption, has established several sub-working groups to address implementation gaps, improve reporting and to better disseminate information on available tools and resources. Two of these sub-working groups - the Task force on 10th Principle Reporting and the Task Force on the Supply Chain: MNCs HQ to Subsidiaries, Suppliers and Subcontractors - met in Athens on in early November on the occasion of Transparency International's 13th Annual Anti-Corruption Conference.

Task force on 10th Principle Reporting

The task force on 10th Principle Reporting will aim to mainstream the reporting of companies'n anticorruption efforts in non-financial and/or sustainability reports. Its chief responsibilities include elaborating and promoting the benefits of reporting on companies' implementation efforts on the tenth principle; collecting and showcasing companies' positive experience of reporting on anti-corruption; benchmarking how environment issues have been mainstreamed within CSR reporting; and developing a set of anti-corruption indicators that can be used both in common law and continental law systems.

"The fight against corruption is an ongoing process which needs dedication and support", said Eckart Suenner, Chief Compliance Officer at BASF. "To report on progress in that fight means that you not only look back and report what has been done but that you also become aware what else can - and should be - done in future. This is real value for the own path in the fight against corruption".

MNCs HQ to Subsidiaries, Suppliers and Subcontractors

The sub-working group on MNC HQs to Subsidiaries, Suppliers and Subcontractors will identify how to ensure that the policies or practices of major MNC headquarters are applied to their subsidiaries, suppliers, and subcontractors for the effective implementation of the 10th principle. This sub-working group will also serve as the collective action platform for small and medium-size enterprises.

"Multi-national companies face significant corruption risks in their supply chains, where many small and medium size local businesses may be unable or unwilling to avoid temptations to corruption", said Mark Snyderman, Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer & Assistant General Counsel, The Coca-cola Company. "MNCs are uniquely positioned to educate, help and direct these suppliers in dealing with corruption".

In addition, the following sub-working groups have been established:

Anti-Corruption Education Initiative

In collaboration with Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), the Anti-Corruption Education Initiative aims to promote the integration of anti-corruption and ethics courses into the curriculum of business schools.

Anti-Corruption Tools and Resources

The sub-working group on Anti-Corruption Tools and Resources will develop an inventory of existing anti-corruption tools and resources that companies can easily review and access. The inventory will include a short description of each tool including purpose; the types of corruption the tool addresses; target audiences; and how the tool is related to different socio-political realities.

Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue Networks Initiative

In an effort to promote public-private partnership on anti-corruption issues, the Dialogue Initiative will aim to expand multi-stakeholder dialogue networks to the local level involving public counterparts. At the initial stage, these dialogue networks will serve to foster trusts among different stakeholders. Eventually, the Dialogue Initiative may lead into the development of a joint training session which involves public procurement actors and bidding companies on transparency and anticorruption in selected countries.

CEO Statement Initiative

The CEO Statement Initiative will develop a CEO statement addressed to governments on the implementation of an effective UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) review mechanism. Through the endorsement by business leaders, the CEO Statement Initiative aims to increase business awareness on UNCAC and promote good practices.

Media Engagement Initiative

As an ongoing project, the Media Engagement Initiative will identify the ways to induce more positive engagement of the media on companies' anti-corruption efforts. It specifically aims to bring media's attention to positive stories and progress that business has made in the fight against corruption.

"Widespread corruption is a cross-cutting challenge to the advancement of the Global Compact's ten principles", said Georg Kell, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact. " The important work of the Global Compact Working Group on Anti-Corruption will give practical meaning to the tenth principle and help companies develop effective policies and practices that ultimately benefit all their efforts at becoming more sustainable".