Update Spring 2015

Business ethics and the election

With the UK General Election weeks away, the parties are setting out their platforms and all are promising to deliver a strong economy, with good job prospects and a balanced budget.

Despite much rhetoric over the years regarding the need to restore trust in business, none of the parties has felt the need to put ethics on the agenda. Is ethics simply not a vote winner?

According to a ComRes poll published earlier this year, this isn’t necessarily so. Their survey of 2000 British adults found three quarters (72%) think that the next Government should make it a priority to promote ethical practices among big businesses.

Other surveys published over the past 12 months have indicated that levels of trust in business have fallen globally. The Edelman Trust Barometer for 2015 registered an ‘evaporation of trust’, while the Deloitte 2014 Global Survey on Reputation Risk found that among C-suite executives, 55% felt that risks related to ethics and integrity were their top concern.

From the work we do with a range of clients across the globe, in a variety of sectors, ethical issues are very much on the agenda. Corporates are continuing to invest substantially in strengthening adequate procedures. To underpin efforts to combat corruption, we are also seeing investment in ethics and compliance and in ethical corporate culture. Businesses are increasingly keen to benchmark their performance in this area and work on any improvements needed.

Business ethics may not be on the political agenda, but it is very much on the corporate one. Politicians may be shy of using regulation to bring about an ethical change in businesses; beating business with a stick has never been a real vote-winner. However, given the work that so many companies are doing, is it time for politicians to offer a carrot?

Rewards for businesses that demonstrate ethics and integrity could reinforce any claims to be building a strong economy.  Government is a big buyer of private sector services and could choose to only work with untarnished organisations. Rewards could do more to reverse the evaporation of trust than any regulation and may even win a few votes along the way.

Child Protection: How can businesses ensure robust and adequate procedures?


GoodCorporation’s opening Business Ethics Debate of 2015 looked at the steps businesses need to take to ensure adequate safeguarding protection for children.

The framework for protecting children in the UK is firmly rooted in legislation, policies and principles, with people employed throughout the public sector to ensure that the law is adhered to and policies are implemented.

Safeguarding children is a dynamic issue. The current safeguarding reviews and in particular the forthcoming review into historical sex abuse, led by New Zealand High Court judge Lowell Goddard, will almost certainly lead to statutory changes requiring a high level of vigilance on the part of companies.

Reporting child sexual abuse could become a mandatory responsibility as it is in a number of US States and Canada. Keir Starmer has already made a call for such legislative changes and it is expected that the forthcoming Dame Janet Smith Review into the BBC and the review of historical abuse will also support such legislation.

Our debate looked at the steps businesses should take using a risk management approach and the problems that may need to be overcome.

Click here to read the debate summary in full.

GoodCorporation's Data Protection framework can help companies comply with EU Data Protection Regulation

With significant reforms to EU Data Protection expected to come into force by the end of 2016, businesses will be required to demonstrate robust governance of their data protection.

Companies will need to show that they have identified risks and provide a level of assurance that controls are in place to comply with the new laws.

This is the first reform of data protection regulation for many years and will create a pan-European law with much tougher sanctions. Breaches of the new regulation could lead to fines of up to five per cent of annual turnover.

The best organisations take great care to protect their data properly, seeing it as an essential part of treating customers fairly.

The GoodCorporation Data Protection Framework helps organisations ensure that they have the correct systems in place, enabling them to demonstrate robust governance of their processes.

Click here to see the framework.

Compliance Week Europe 2015

Leo Martin will be leading a debate on “When can anti-corruption procedures be deemed adequate?” at Compliance Week Europe in Brussels on October 26 2015. For a discount of €100 off the registration fee, please use the following code CWE15_GOODCORP


In Brief...

GoodCorporation completes more auditing work for the Banknote Ethics Initiative

Three more companies have been audited by GoodCorporation as part of the Banknote Ethics Initiative (BnEI), designed to maintain high ethical standards across the banknote industry.

Arjowiggins Security SAS, Note Printing Australia Ltd and SICPA SA have all successfully completed their independent audit to become fully accredited members of BnEI.

Eight companies have successfully completed the accreditation process, demonstrating commitment within the industry to adopting ethical practices and taking a stance against corruption and anti-competitive behaviour.

The European Central Bank and the 19 European Central Banks from countries that have introduced the Euro have just announced their support for BnEI. This brings the total number of central banks from around the world to publicly declare their support for this initiative to twenty seven.

Read More


Restoring public trust

At a business breakfast for the Investing in Integrity Charter Mark, the Lord Mayor of London Alderman Alan Yarrow spoke of the need for businesses to improve their culture and also reassure the public that they are trustworthy.

Investing in Integrity is a Charter Mark founded by the  Institute of Business Ethics and the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment. It enables an organisation to demonstrate a genuine commitment to ethical conduct and behaviour.

GoodCorporation developed the assessment framework for Investing in Integrity which involves a two-stage process. Stage one is a management self-assessment survey; stage two involves an external audit, by GoodCorporation, to verify the self-assessment.

Site visits, staff interviews, an employee survey and reviews of documentation are all part of the stage two process which is designed to provide evidence that what a company thinks is happening is really working on the ground.



Treating Pensioners Fairly

The recent liberation of pensions has led to warnings that pensioners could become the victims of yet another mis-selling scandal.

GoodCorporation has called for pension freedoms to be matched with information and regulation to ensure that savers not ‘scammers’ come out on top.

Read more

Mint Condition

Following on from a series of articles in Governance & Compliance on corruption risk in the BRIC countries, GoodCorporation has looked at the risks associated with doing business in the MINTs.

Mexico & Indonesia

Nigeria & Turkey