Currently estimated to cost five per cent of the world’s total GDP, or US$2.6 trillion per annum, corruption is now the third largest industry globally and is growing. In response, anti-corruption legislation around the world is being strengthened, with a growing emphasis now placed on enforcement and compliance. Organisations not only need to have an anti-corruption programme in place, but are increasingly required to prove its effectiveness.
The following article was originally published in Ethical Boardroom Magazine Winter 2016 Edition.
Eight mistakes that boards & management need to be aware of when establishing anti-corruption programmes
Unfortunately, a growing number of anti-corruption programmes are failing to meet this new challenge; the most recent being the French industrial group Alstom. Despite having an integrity and anti-corruption programme in place, Alstom was recently fined US$277.3 million to resolve criminal charges relating to a widespread corruption scheme. The scheme involved the payment of at least US$75 million in secret bribes to government officials around the world.
So what went wrong? Why was it that its anti-corruption programme failed and failed so miserably? While there is no silver bullet to guarantee success, there are a number of common pitfalls, which, if avoided, can dramatically decrease the chance of failure.
While not exhaustive, outlined below are the most common mistakes that boards and management need to be aware of when establishing anti-corruption programmes. More