Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, published today, paints a very real picture of the business landscape where many UK companies operate.
GoodCorporation works internationally to help businesses in their fight against corruption and we see examples of the risks they face almost every day. Inevitably, the greatest risks are in those countries whose governments turn a blind eye to, or worse, expect to receive payments for contracts or for the provision of services.
Transparency’s Corruption Perceptions Index is a useful tool as it confirms where corruption is most likely to occur and alerts businesses to the additional measures they need to take to avoid corruption.
In extreme cases, this may mean leaving the country, but increasingly businesses are fighting back and trying to put in place strong anti-corruption policies and controls. The UK Bribery Act is pushing businesses to take a much more active and public stance against corruption and hopefully this will start to have an impact on the ground. Many businesses are also identifying the fact that in the most corrupt countries, there is almost always a local outcry and anger about corruption. Businesses should recognise that their own anti-corruption policies and controls are not just about self-interest and avoiding prosecution but are also an important part in a wider fight against corruption.
Much of this increased activity has been driven by the UK Bribery Act and a rise in corruption prosecutions in Germany and the USA. The UK Bribery Act concept of ‘adequate procedures’ to prevent corruption is a crucial driver of change. It is pushing companies to take responsibility for what happens, rather than turning a blind-eye and outsourcing corruption to suppliers and intermediaries. Many businesses are now seriously investing to protect themselves from the risk of corruption and need to be supported by government both nationally and internationally in their efforts.