Winter 2015/6

GoodCorporation launches Sports Governance Framework

Corruption scandals are hardly new to sport: cycling, horse racing, cricket, snooker, motor racing and even the Olympics have all had some pretty serious issues to deal with. Allegations of bribe-paying at Fifa rumbled on for years before any arrests were made. Hot on the heels of Fifa, the IAAF and tennis now find themselves under the spotlight.

To help governing bodies ensure that they have strong governance policies and procedures in place, GoodCorporation is launching a Sports Governance Framework which will enable sports organisations to evaluate how well their practices are working.

The framework covers the governance structures, risk assessments and due diligence checks necessary to ensure that good management is in place and that the integrity of sport is protected through proactive measures to prevent misconduct such as corrupt betting, doping and other forms of cheating.

Our framework will be launched at our next Business Ethics Debate at the House of Lords on February 11 when Shaila-Ann Rao, former CEO of Sportfive International will lead a discussion entitled Governance in Sport: what does good look like?

Big businesses big risks: how should global companies tackle the problem?

Dice Image, 240 × 180 pixels)

Our first Business Ethics Debate in Geneva looked at the risks faced by large organisations and how industries can work together to mitigate risks and raise standards.
The discussion was introduced by Antti Heinonen, chairman of the Banknote Ethics Initiative (BnEI) and a former director of the European Central Bank. Born out of a need to raise standards across the industry following several scandals, BnEI is a membership scheme which requires prescribed standards of ethical behaviour for participating organisations. Accredited members undergo an independent assurance that standards of behaviour meet the BnEI Code of Ethical Practice.
To date the scheme has been endorsed by 29 central banks. Canadian Bank Note is the ninth organisation to have undertaken the accreditation process.
While this scheme is gaining real traction in the banknote industry, there are relatively few successful schemes in other sectors. The debate explored reasons for and against as well as the possible need for a catalyst to make the need for change a top priority. Click here to read the debate summary in full.

Human Rights, Reporting and the Modern Slavery Act

Legislation such as the Modern Slavery Act and the forthcoming EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive are driving human rights issues up the corporate agenda, but are businesses doing enough to minimise human rights abuses and will the Modern Slavery Act make a difference?

Frances House, deputy executive director of the Institute for Human Rights and Business introduced our debate on this subject. The debate explored the strengths and weaknesses of the Act and there was a broad sense of optimism that the response of corporates would make a difference.

Given that reporting is now mandatory for organisations conducting business in the UK with a turnover in excess of £36m, what should a good statement look like and how can a company be assured of its content?

As with the Bribery Act, there is recognition that no organisation can make firm guarantees; the issue once again relates to the adequacy of the procedures taken to understand the risks and to tackle the problem effectively.

Good statements should cover six key areas:

  • An analysis of the organisation’s structure, business and supply chain.
  • Policies in relation to slavery and human trafficking
  • Slavery and human trafficking due diligence processes
  • Steps taken to manage and mitigate the risk
  • The risk of slavery and human trafficking in the supply chain
  • Measurement of effectiveness of these steps to mitigate
  • Training and communication on these practices and procedures

In our experience, the most difficult areas to tackle will be assessing the effectiveness of measures taken to prevent slavery and human trafficking and putting a measurement system in place to demonstrate an improvement over time which the government expects to see.

GoodCorporation is experienced in developing robust policies and procedures to tackle Human Rights and Modern Slavery abuses. We also have effective assessment and measurement methodologies which enable companies to benchmark performance and measure improvement.

In Brief...

Big Pharma and the Sunshine Rule

GoodCorporation has worked with a number of clients in the Pharma sector assessing and measuring business ethics practices and compliance with the Pharma Code.

Our Business Ethics Debate on the forthcoming Sunshine Rule posed the question Can the Pharma industry achieve transparency with self-regulated disclosure?

While many have welcomed the new rule, some barriers to transparency remain. The debate looked at the likely effectiveness of self-regulation versus the need for legislation.

Pharma Times attended the debate and covered the issue this month.

Building better banks

It is widely acknowledged that the Financial Conduct Authority faces a difficult task. 2015 was described as an annus horribilis for the regulator and 2016 began with a grilling from the Treasury Select Committee for dropping the culture review of Britain’s banks.

While the FCA may not be experts on working culture, the procedures for testing and measuring ethical conduct are well established. The Department of Justice regularly carries out surveys of ethical culture when a company is prosecuted for bribery and corruption. GoodCorporation routinely measures ethical conduct and benchmarks performance across industries and sectors.

The banking scandals that lead to the financial crisis were caused by ethical failures. It’s hard to see how avoiding a review of practice and procedures amounts to good regulation. It fails to provide any guarantees that history will not repeat itself and denies those banks that have worked hard to change culture the recognition they deserve.

House of Lords Debate: Why do good companies behave badly?

This was the title of the final Business Ethics Debate of 2015 introduced by John Kay. The discussion focused on the goals businesses set and the role they play within the wider community.

John argued that long-term planning that embraces business development goals and objectives breeds success and delivers shareholder returns. However, when maximising shareholder value becomes a primary aim, it becomes all too easy for the business model to fail.

The debate examined corporate behaviour, purpose, profit, quarterly returns and the role of the shareholder.

The goodblog

The latest posts on the goodblog look at debarment and deregulation.

We argue that enforcing exclusions from public tender could and should be used more effectively to drive change and reward those organisations that play by the rules.

Our blog on deregulation looks at why good regulation is pro-business and why companies support the UK Bribery Act.