The fight against corruption starts with you

25 July 2013
As SM recently reported, worldwide more than one in four have paid a bribe to a public body in the last year, according to a report by Transparency International (TI). The Global Corruption Barometer 2013 is a survey of 114,000 people in 107 countries and it shows corruption is widespread. 27 per cent of respondents have paid a bribe when accessing public services and institutions in the last 12 months, revealing no improvement from previous surveys.

Business has changed a lot in the last 10 years in response to big scandals at major companies, but nearly half (43 per cent) of global companies say their bribery and corruption risks have risen in the past two years, according a report by risk management provider Kroll. The 2013 Anti-Bribery and Corruption Benchmarking Report found only 8 per cent of companies say their risks have fallen in the past two years. Half of businesses said they expect bribery and corruption risks to increase over the next 12 months.

On a more positive note, almost nine out of 10 people surveyed in the TI report said they would act against corruption if they came across it. These aren’t empty words - two-thirds of those who were asked to pay a bribe had refused. Individuals and organisations can make a difference by taking a stand against corruption, and demanding a fairer, more transparent world. How should procurement professionals react to these findings? A pragmatic approach to corruption, based on the following principles, is a great place to start:
  • Ensure that your organisation has a clear, unambiguous and well publicised policy
  • Ensure transparency on all business dealings
  • Only work with suppliers that have robust policies themselves
  • Personally refuse to pay a bribe, whenever asked and whenever possible
Procurement has a huge opportunity to lead the drive against corruption in our organisations. It is a challenge we should grasp as part of our journey from the back office to part of a company’s leadership team. ☛ Tom Woodham is director of Crimson & Co
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