Thomson Reuters Governance Risk & Compliance conducts an annual cost of compliance survey focused on financial services firms around the world with the aim of highlighting not only the ongoing costs of regulatory compliance for firms but also to benchmark the greatest challenges for the year ahead.
The Anti-Corruption Strategy for the Legal Profession is an initiative launched in April 2010 by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the International Bar Association (IBA) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). It began with a survey carried out by the IBA which was designed to assess the knowledge and understanding of the legal profession in terms of corruption.
Of all the business textbooks in circulation at the moment, the Frequently Asked Questions series, published by Wiley, is perhaps the most interesting. Each book in the series contains several chapters explaining the fundamentals of a topic, and then sets out answers to about 50 of the burning questions of the day. Perhaps, though, I am slightly biased, because I was recently honoured to have been asked to write Frequently Asked Questions in Anti-Bribery and Corruption!
The UKBA is unique in its scope and has frequently been described as the toughest anti-bribery legislation in the world. It makes a business responsible not only for the actions of its employees, but also for those of all ‘associated persons’.
Companies which conduct business overseas face growing legal and reputational risks. Those risks have become even more important because of increasingly complex business regulations worldwide, mounting pressure from regulators, enforcement agencies and civil society, and a dramatic increase in levels of business carried out in higher risk jurisdictions.
In recent years we have not only seen a steady increase in the acknowledgment of the important role businesses play in the global fight against corruption, but also an emerging debate on mechanisms that could motivate businesses to counter corruption and how different societal actors could use and target these motivations.
The giving and receiving of gifts and entertainment are commonly accepted business practices the world over. They help to form and to strengthen business relationships and can be used to mark important business achievements.
The risks will vary depending on the buyer, the target and the structure of the transaction. The main risks are: (i) acquiring a company that is tainted by corruption, and therefore assuming criminal and civil liability; (ii) paying too much for the acquired company or business, to the extent that part of the revenue and/or profit is based on corrupt behavior, and is therefore not sustainable; and (iii) risk to reputation of the buyer. In addition, there is the risk associated with the drain on management of resolving any issue along these lines that does show up.
Several compliance officers have indeed been questioned by authorities during judicial investigations and have even been subjected to personal investigations. Authorities naturally try to determine what exactly the compliance officer was aware of in any given corruption allegation.
Whether at headquarter or subsidiary level, compliance officers commonly wonder what their judicial responsibilities would be in the event of an investigation into an alleged act of corruption.
I understand very well that operational people in the companies are saying: “Please, do not issue new guidance. We are already not able to deal with the existing ones.”
The UK Law Commission (LC) was tasked with drafting a suitable Bribery Act. I was part of the LC Advisory Panel. Originally, it was to be for a new Corruption Act but that was the first thing we ditched because bribery is easier to define than corruption.
The Global Principles of Business Ethics is an initiative launched by both the Aerospace Industries Association of America (AIA) and the Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD).
For the last few years, the Brazilian society has been voicing their collective dissatisfaction with continual cases of endemic corruption, especially the ones emanating from the political bodies. After finally ascending to power in the early 2000’s, the Labor Party was expected to bring a higher level of ethics to the way government (at all levels; federal, state, municipal, etc.) conducts itself.