Governments cannot underestimate the importance of promoting greater private sector integrity as part of their overall anti-corruption strategy. This is especially relevant in the aftermath of the recent financial and economic crisis, which has undermined faith in markets and trust in government.
Clean companies are more efficient and more competitive. More efficient and competitive companies ensure healthier markets and greater investor confidence. Clean companies that do business with governments place an effective check on both private- and public-sector corruption. In the end, promoting private sector integrity is to the benefit of companies, governments, and every day citizens who all benefit from a stronger, cleaner and fairer world economy.
How can governments promote greater private sector integrity? By encouraging their companies to adopt stronger internal controls, ethics and anti-corruption compliance; to put in place robust corporate governance systems; to ensure their multinational enterprises carry out their business dealings responsibly and transparently; to ensure due diligence; to be aware of risks; and, in dealing with governments at home and abroad, to compete fairly and openly.
These questions are addressed to policy makers who are interested in promoting greater private sector integrity.
1. Are companies encouraged to adopt internal controls, ethics and compliance measures in order to prevent and detect bribery and corruption in their business dealings at home and abroad?
2. Are companies encouraged to put in place a strong framework for corporate governance?
3. Has the government clearly stated its expectations on how multinational enterprises ought to behave in and outside their home jurisdiction, in all major areas of business ethics, including labour and human rights, environment, anti-corruption, responsible supply chains, anti-corruption and taxation?
4. Are companies—especially those operating in or sourcing raw materials from conflict-affected and high-risk areas—encouraged to undertake appropriate risk-based due diligence as part of their efforts to manage their supply chains?
5. Do companies have the tools they need to carry out a proper assessment of their exposure to risk when investing abroad, especially in weak governance zones?
6. Have appropriate systems been implemented to reduce the risks of bid-rigging in public procurement and to facilitate the detection of bid-rigging in public procurement?