ETHIC Intelligence was very pleased to host its second annual international conference on Standards and Guidlines: Recent developments in Anti-Corruption Compliance on September 11, 2017 at the OECD conference centre in Paris. You can now view photos and video from the conference where experts from business, civil society and government exchanged and debated on how best to progress in the fight against corruption.
40 years after the publication of the FCPA and 20 years after the signature of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, 2017 produced several developments in the fight against corruption.
And if these developments, although relatively isolated for the time being, were to become more commonplace I could, we all could, dream of a world where corruption recedes. My dream for 2018 is that the three following wishes become reality:–
The intensification of investigations and criminal prosecutions of executives from large companies as well as of politicians and high level public servants in Brazil this past year is particularly significant.
The conviction of Lee Jae-yong, acting President of South Korea’s emblematic Samsung, and the prosecution of the former head of state, Park Geun-hye, are also notable;
That countries like Brazil and South Korea – both of whom are members of the club of advanced countries that is the OECD – dare to question the actions of their elites regardless of political or economic consequences or public image, should be lauded as it demonstrates their determination to arrive at a thoroughly transparent and democratic society.
In Asia, and certain countries of the Middle East, there have also been arrests for corruption which is an equally encouraging sign for a world in transition.
Hopefully, these examples are sound proof that no-one can any longer consider himself or herself above the law or beyond the reach of anti-corruption laws regardless of their position in the business or political community.
In 2017 many countries reinforced their whistleblowing systems and procedures for whistleblower protection. And these developments were not limited to countries signatory to the OECD Convention like France but included emerging economies like Tunisia.
If, in every country, witnesses to corrupt activities were not only unafraid to report these acts, but also considered that reporting them was their duty to ensure integrity which is a shared common good, then it would be the turn of the corruptors and the corrupted to be afraid.
The hope for this was declared as a priority by the Head of the OECD Working Group on the Anti-Bribery Convention, Drago Kos, when he articulated his determination to advance whistleblower protections during the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the OECD Convention.
Whistleblowing protection has been delared a priority by the Head of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention Working Group, Drago Kos
In 2017, many courageous people died because it was their job to fight corruption.
Two officials of the anti-corruption agency were killed in Kabul in April and a Lagos agent of the Nigeria Financial Crimes Agency was also executed in June.
Journalists in The Maldives, Mexico and Malta were killed in April, June and October because they were investigating cases of corruption.
The high price they paid demonstrates how useful their mission to combat corruption was and continues to be. May their sacrifice be remembered.
Martin Luther King’s dream became reality because it was shared by millions of people.
Philippe Montigny is CEO of ETHIC Intelligence and Chairman of its Certification Committee. Philippe has over 20 years of experience in advising companies on strategies to prevent corruption and leverage business integrity.
The compliance community must navigate amidst an ever-changing landscape of laws, recommendations, emerging corruption risks, trends in investigations and the threat of prosecution. The ambition of this blog is to bring this landscape into focus while raising compliance effectiveness from both a business and legal perspective.
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