01 March 2006 | Anusha Bradley
Companies that want to make it onto the FTSE list of socially responsible firms will shortly have to meet anti-bribery criteria.
The move follows the addition of counter-bribery measures to the existing list of requirements firms have to fulfil to get onto the FTSE4Good Index.
The new criteria have been created in conjunction with anti-corruption group Transparency International.
Companies already named on the FTSE4Good Index have been issued deadlines to meet the new regulations.
Will Oulton, head of responsible investment for the FTSE Group, said 130 firms, including oil and gas producers and equipment firms, chemicals and mining companies, have been identified as most at risk from exposure to bribery. They have until 1 July this year to meet the criteria in order to stay listed on the index.
Firms deemed at "medium" risk of bribery, such as pharmaceutical businesses, hotels and technology firms, have until 1 January 2007 to meet the new criteria.
Suppliers competing for government contracts in more than 150 countries, most of them developing nations, were also at risk of being exposed to bribery, the group said.
Companies must ensure they have systems and policies in place to prevent bribery, such as protection for whistle-blowers.
Oulton told supplymanagement.com
: "There is general recognition that bribery and corruption are not acceptable. It's now important to both companies and investors."
The criteria can be downloaded from www.ftse.com/ftse4good
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