Anti-Corruption Compliance Blog - 01 April 2018

Carrying out due diligence on third parties which is not based on a risk assessment is counterproductive for the following reasons:

  • Due diligence on a third party which represents no risk is a waste of time and money
  • Due diligence which is not adapted to risk can result in superficial diligence on high-risk third parties which could consequently put the company at risk.
  • Not having a risk-based approach gives staff the impression that the compliance department is disconnected from the reality of the business which damages its credibility

Anti-Corruption Compliance Blog - 01 March 2018

A whistleblowing system is now an incontrovertible tool for compliance.

But it is not enough to have a whistleblowing system; it must be one that works….one that raises alarms on suspicion of fraud or corruption effectively.

If the whistleblowing system results in very few alerts being raised, the Compliance Office is faced with a paradox:

Either the compliance program is particularly effective
Or – the opposite – the whistleblowing system is ineffective

In other words, is a procedure which raises very few alerts reassuring or...alarming?

Anti-Corruption Compliance Blog - 01 February 2018

Why mapping corruption risk is important

It is important for three reasons:

1.1 Mapping corruption risk for efficient compliance


The first reason is because compliance is efficient only if it is tailored to the organization’s specific corruption risk.

If corruption risks are not evaluated sufficiently, underestimated or overestimated, a compliance program will not be effective.

If underestimated, corruption risks will not be properly mitigated.

Anti-Corruption Compliance Blog - 01 January 2018

40 years after the publication of the FCPA and 20 years after the signature of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, 2017 saw 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 disappears. My dream for 2018 is that the three following wishes become reality:-

I have a dream that the day will come when the corrupt political and business elite will not be immune from prosecution

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.

Anti-Corruption Compliance Blog - 01 December 2017

I remember the satisfaction of the signatory countries’ representatives when, 20 years ago, an agreement was reached at the OECD on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions. Finally, there was a legal instrument to combat this insidious practice. Yet the text was only signed by a few states and countries’ willingness to prosecute its companies for acts of corruption committed overseas - acts which resulted in contracts and profits at home - was, except for the United States, largely absent.

Anti-Corruption Compliance Blog - 01 December 2017

When I first started working with companies on corruption prevention 20 years ago, their primary concern was related to the issue of passive corruption: how could they ensure that no staff member would accept a bribe, for example, from a supplier or even a client, in exchange for special treatment? If an employee accepts a bribe from a supplier, it is not to benefit the company; instead, passive bribery impacts negatively on a business’ profitability and hampers its competitiveness, making it one of the organization’s main sources of concern. Which is why companies focused primarily on passive as opposed to active corruption for a time.

Anti-Corruption Compliance Blog - 01 November 2017

Although incidents of passive corruption often originate within the purchasing department, it is not an activity exclusive to this branch. Passive corruption can also occur with employees responsible for product specifications, or managers occasionally needing to use emergency or exceptional purchasing procedures.

Anti-Corruption Compliance Blog - 01 October 2017

For small to medium-sized enterprises that need to implement an anti-corruption compliance policy the ISO 37001 is a useful, easy-to-use and affordable reference.

Anti-Corruption Compliance Blog - 01 September 2017

One of the most common questions I am asked is “to which function should the anti-corruption compliance post be attached?” As previously mentioned, it cannot be connected to an operations role for reasons of conflict of interest.

Anti-Corruption Compliance Blog - 01 September 2017

Mid-sized companies’ structure differs greatly from their larger or multinational counterparts. Multinationals, as listed companies, are obliged to have at the headquarters level, resources and processes necessary to secure compliance with regulations that apply to listed companies. These companies have been respecting other international requirements for years so do not see the addition of an investment in compliance as an excessive burden.

Anti-Corruption Compliance Blog - 01 August 2017

A few months after the publication of the ISO 37001 standard, ETHIC Intelligence was carrying out its first ISO 37001 certification. Later, I received feedback from the Compliance Officer of that certified company. He stated that the ISO 37001 audits had strengthened the organization’s compliance culture thus rendering the compliance program more effective.

Anti-Corruption Compliance Blog - 01 July 2017

This chapter’s title is a little provocative. The role of the Chief Compliance Officer is not to increase profit but to ensure that business is conducted in complete respect of relevant laws.

Anti-Corruption Compliance Blog - 01 June 2017

The question of what budget should be allocated to anti-corruption compliance is a difficult one for any company. For Top Management, compliance has a cost – undoubtedly necessary – whose expenditure cannot be reconciled in a tangible manner or with a physical receipt. The impossibility of defining return on investment often results in the compliance budget being kept to a minimum. The Compliance Officer, on the other hand, is aware of an allegation or act of corruption’s potentially dramatic effects on the company and views a compliance budget as a sort of insurance policy which should cover the company’s identified risks to an appropriate degree.

Anti-Corruption Compliance Blog - 01 May 2017

Compliance Officers have long been preoccupied by their potential exposure to legal liability; worries seemingly justified by recent cases of prosecutions – and convictions – of compliance officers.

Anti-Corruption Compliance Blog - 01 April 2017

The introduction of the ISO 37001 standard declares: “This document specifies the implementation by the organization of policies and procedures and controls which are reasonable and proportionate”. Two lines later it states, “this document can help the organization implement reasonable and proportionate measures designed to prevent, detect and respond to bribery”.

Anti-Corruption Compliance Blog - 01 March 2017

The publication of the ISO Standard 37001 and its certifiability has caused a debate as to whether the standard offers legal protection or not in the event an act of corruption is discovered at a company. As corruption is an offense that can result in the corporation’s criminal prosecution, companies want to know what kind of legal protection comes with an ISO 37001 certification.

Anti-Corruption Compliance Blog - 01 February 2017

The last decade has seen a surge of collective actions at the initiative of civil society, professional federations or international organizations. Many have benefited from the support of the Siemens Integrity Initiative which has demonstrated the usefulness of such actions in the fight against corruption at the local level.

Anti-Corruption Compliance Blog - 01 January 2017

The multiplication of national guidelines published on the issue of anti-corruption compliance over the past few years has some compliance officers shaking their heads with perplexity.

Anti-Corruption Compliance Blog - 01 December 2016

The issue of whether results-based bonuses might be an invitation for salespeople to engage in bribery always fuels passionate discussions. Some consider that a high bonus vis-a-vis a fixed salary in countries of weak governance could lead salespeople to conclude contracts at any price. Others consider that working in countries of weak governance is more complex and difficult and that successful salespeople should be rewarded with significant bonuses.

Anti-Corruption Compliance Blog - 01 November 2016

US Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates stated in a September 9th, 2015 memo that not only will she be targeting companies, but that she will also pursue individuals who represent the “flesh and blood” of corrupt activities; after all, bribes are always paid by individuals.

About Philippe Montigny

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Philippe Montigny is the founder and CEO of ETHIC Intelligence, a leading anti-corruption certification agency that has been certifying companies since 2006. He has over 20 years of experience in anti-corruption compliance, beginning at the Office of the OECD Secretary-General, for which he was involved in the ministerial negotiations that led to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention in 1997. Philippe Montigny was also a co-drafter of the compliance management system standard (ISO 19600) published in 2014 and of the anti-bribery management system standard (ISO 37001) published in 2016 and served as ISO liaison officer between the two.

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