ISO 37001: A Game Changer in Global Anti-Bribery Efforts?

Tags

, , , ,

iso

On December 9, International Anti-Corruption Day, the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) in partnership with the Association of Women in International Trade (WIIT), co-hosted a panel discussion on the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 37001, a new standard on anti-bribery management systems designed to help organizations fight bribery and promote an ethical business culture. The panel, moderated by CIPE Regional Director for Asia John Morrell, consisted of Worth MacMurray, Principal at Governance and Compliance Initiatives, Shruti Shah, Vice President of Programs and Operations at Transparency International-USA and Jesse Spiro, WorldCheck Research Manager at Thomson Reuters.

After brief opening remarks from WIIT President Evelyn Suarez, Morrell started the event by highlighting CIPE’s work in combating the institutional side of bribery and corruption. The discussion began with MacMurray, who worked on the new standard, giving an overview of the ISO 37001. The ISO 37001 is meant to be widely applicable to all organizations of any size in the public, private or not-for-profit sectors.  Read More...

Watch for Mosquitos

Tags

, , , , ,

mosquito

Photo Credit; Flickr

This blog was originally published on the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics’ (SCCE) “Compliance & Ethics Blog”.

I was fortunate last week. While exhibiting at Transparency International’s International Anti-Corruption Conference in Panama City, Stephanie Gallagher and I were able to visit the Panama Canal. May Jane Coulson, the Canal’s ethics officer, whom I interviewed for the SCCE magazine about a year ago, made it all happen.

As every school child learns, it is a masterpiece of engineering, and seeing it up close reinforces the impression. What few learn (or I forgot) was that the genius started before the engineering really began. And, as I learned on my visit, the US succeeded in building it not just because of better technology and engineers. It was because the Americans grasped that one scientific accomplishment had to be completed first to help increase the likelihood of success: they needed to figure out a way to stop tropical diseases from killing thousands of workers.  Read More...

The International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala Celebrates its 10th Anniversary

Tags

, ,

4988818295_022e6df90b_b

Photo Credit: Clamor Por Guatemala-Jouse Goge

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala, known by its Spanish abbreviation as CICIG (Comisión Internacional contra la Impunidad en Guatemala). On December 12, 2006, the United Nations and the Government of Guatemala signed an agreement to establish CICIG to assist the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the National Civilian Police, and law enforcement in investigating organized crime and its connections with state institutions. CICIG has a unique hybrid structure. On the one hand, it is an independent international entity comprised of judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers from over 20 countries. On the other hand, despite its sovereignty concerns, the Government of Guatemala gave CICIG the authority to investigate and assist in prosecutions of corruption and other crimes under national law. This innovative structure does not have any precedent in the history of international anti-corruption initiatives. In its 10 years of existence, CICIG has achieved notable victories on different battlefields, including prosecuting over 200 corrupt officials, reforming Guatemala’s anti-corruption laws, building local capacity of investigative authorities, and, most importantly – mobilizing the business community and civil society against corruption.  Read More...

South Korea’s renewed focus on anti-corruption

Tags

, , ,

flag-of-south-korea

Photo Credit: Creative Commons

Seoul has been a site of massive protests following the revelations of President Park Geun-hye’s controversial ties to her friend, Choi Soon-sil, accused of trying to extort Korean companies and using undue influence to solicit business donations for a non-profit fund she controlled. This rather bizarre corruption scandal has brought renewed attention to Korea’s cozy relationships between politicians and business. The headlines may obscure, however, the progress that South Korea is making toward limiting corruption in business. In particular, the new laws.

The South Korean government first enacted anti-corruption laws in the late 1990s. In 1998, South Korea enacted the Preventing Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions Act (FBPA), the South Korean version of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). It was implemented as part of South Korea’s commitment to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business TransactionsRead More...

Private sector in Ukraine makes strides toward curbing corruption

Tags

, , ,

ukraine-conference

When one thinks about Ukraine in the context of corruption, the picture typically does not look rosy. The headlines about corrupt oligarchy and continued graft easily come to mind – including recent revelations about the riches disclosed by top officials in their asset declarations. This wealth stands in stark contrast with the financial condition of most ordinary Ukrainians, causing public outcry. Not surprisingly, Ukraine was ranked 130th out of 167 in the latest Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.

Yet, an overly pessimistic view of Ukraine’s anti-corruption prospects runs the risk of overlooking important positive developments. Last week I attended a conference in Kyiv organized by CIPE and its partner, the Ukrainian Corporate Governance Professional Association (UGCPA), with support from the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine and the Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP) of the U.S. Department of Commerce. This event, which gathered over 150 participants, shed a spotlight on an often underappreciated aspect of Ukraine’s anti-corruption efforts: what the private sector is doing to limit the opportunities of corruption in how businesses operate.  Read More...

Maximizing Your Code of Conduct

Tags

, , ,

code

Photo Credit: Flickr

Many employees often have the attitude that their company’s code of conduct is merely a policy when in reality the code should serve as the foundation of any given organization, capturing its unique values and culture. A code of conduct should be more than just a document but an experience that inspires employees to adhere to a code while also respecting the reality of workforce trends.

The best codes align with an organization’s message and are an authentic expression of the workplaces’ culture. As a result, codes should incorporate the organization’s mission and values throughout the document in order to develop a message that is meaningful to employees. Additionally, a code developed with the full backing of key constituents (i.e. board, senior leadership, global partners, etc.) will resonate strongly among employees. A high-impact message or letter from the CEO/leader can go a long way in inspiring a workforce to embrace and actively engage with a code of conduct or ethics.  Read More...

The Firtash Case Exposes Challenges of Extraterritorial Reach of the FCPA

Tags

, ,

gavel

Photo Credit: Flickr

November 6-12, 2016 is Corporate Compliance & Ethics Week. Now in its 12th year, Corporate Compliance & Ethics Week continues to shine a spotlight on the importance of ethics and compliance in every workplace.

One year ago, Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates issued a memorandum entitled “Individual Accountability for Corporate Wrongdoing,” also known as the “Yates Memo.” It recommends that prosecutors focus on potentially culpable individuals from the inception of an investigation. The Yates Memo suggests that “because a corporation only acts through individuals, investigating the conduct of individuals is the most efficient and effective way to determine the facts and extent of any corporate misconduct.” The Yates Memo, along with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) expansive approach to extraterritorial jurisdiction, constitute a new trend in FCPA enforcement. You might expect that these two developments would make it easier to bring FCPA violators to justice in the United States.  Read More...

Pakistan: One of the Least Reliable Countries For Business: 2016 FM Global Resilience Index

Tags

, ,

flag_map_of_pakistan-svg

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

In a recently released 2016 FM Global Resilience Index, which ranks the resilience of 130 countries to supply chain disruption, Pakistan ranked 117.

Why is resilience important in business, especially in developing countries like Pakistan? Resilience is the ability to withstand disruption and rebound quickly when necessary. It is especially vital for global companies doing business in a fluid, borderless manner, facing unknown risks in developing markets.

Before exploring new business avenues, companies and business owners consider various factors. The index identifies nine key drivers of resilience including: political risk, the quality of infrastructure, exposure to natural hazard, and commitment to risk management. These drivers are aggregated into three broad factors – economic, risk quality and supply chain – which, in turn, combine to form the index. The quality of supply chains depends on the quality of the local suppliers, the infrastructure quality and how well a country controls them, in addition to managing corruption.  Read More...

Stemming the corrupt flows of looted antiquities

Tags

, , , ,

antiquity

Photo Credit: Flickr

In 2015, the world watched in horror as ISIS militants seized and then proceeded to destroy the ancient Syrian site of Palmyra. These cultural heritage crimes did not stop with the destruction of symbolic and historical structures. ISIS soon engaged in vast looting of antiquities, which helps line the group’s coffers. In response, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2199 condemning the destruction of cultural property in Iraq and Syria, specifically noting the role that cultural looting plays in terrorist financing. Recognizing that commercial demand for antiquities is the main driver for cultural looting, the UN called upon all nations to stem the illicit trade of antiquities being removed from these countries.

Unfortunately, here in the United States, as in other countries from which the demand stems for ill-gotten antiquities, there is a lack of legislation effectively curtailing this illicit trade. Not hindered by current international and domestic legal frameworks to protect cultural property, contemporary looting continues to occur on a large scale and is exacerbated by the growing interconnectedness of the global economy. The internet further allows antiquities of minor commercial value that would have gone unnoticed by museums and auction houses to be purchased by more casual consumers.

Read more…

Combating Corruption in West Africa

Tags

, , ,

For a market to exist, you must have demand and supply, or someone willing to buy and someone willing to sell goods or services. For corruption to exist, you must have someone willing to bribe and someone willing to take a bribe. I am going to discuss how, in West Africa, the demand side of corruption (public sector) and the supply side of corruption (private sector) operates. The public sector has fostered a system where the private sector is forced to partake in corruption in order to be successful. As a result, the steady demands for bribers from the public sector has created an atmosphere within the private sector that creates pressure for corruption as a way to get ahead.

In Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, the Ivory Coast, Liberia, and Ghana, which have an abundance of natural resources, businesses in the private sector often are forced to look for ways to buy political favors so that, among many bidders, they are the ones granted access to these resources.  Read More...