16 January 2014 | David Noble
In a recent report from the World Giving Index, it seems that Brits are some of the most charitable peoples in the world with three quarters of the population offering money to charities on
a regular basis. Other nations are equally giving and while the UK government offers tax breaks to do good, there are a range of options to consider at home and abroad. From supporting humanitarian assistance in Syria to battling the consequences of a typhoon in the Philippines, it can be a bewildering choice.
Traditionally, this is the time of year where reflection and resolution is at the forefront of the mind, where mistakes of the past are never to be repeated and positive actions are promised for the future. Though plans may not always meet expectations, it’s important to choose a cause this year and follow through as citizens of the world. It is also a timely reminder that supporting a cause does not mean solely offering a donation to an international charity but can also mean giving time and energy to something closer to home. Suggesting support for our own profession may seem an obvious leap to make, but I make no apology for this. Our profession will see great challenges and opportunities in 2014 and we must all pull together to realise those opportunities and meet those challenges.
We have been very vocal on licensing the profession to address supply issues such as the horse meat scandal and modern slavery, both very topical issues that will continue to resonate in the public space and with the media. CIPS as a charity itself has a part to play and ploughs any income back into the work of the institute, but it is only as strong as the actions of our global community – the backbone of the institute.
We have set up our own charity – the CIPS Foundation – to support the future expertise of the profession and everyone can support its aims. You can offer to mentor someone new in the profession, present at a local school or raise funds by doing a sponsored physical challenge as some of our members have already done.
All of these actions have already been impactful as some of the stories on the Foundation website will testify. Many more will come as we launch the next tranche of applications this month. Following on from our work with ethical partners at the end of last year, this forms part of our public good agenda, which is why CIPS exists and we must not forget this. Procurement and supply chain management, encouraging good practice and lessening fraud and unethical actions in supply chains is our burning platform and we all have a responsibility to commit to action.
China’s big shift on corruption
There appears to be a major shift in the Chinese state’s attitude to fraud and corruption in business and how it intends to tackle them.
Drugs companies appear to be a current focus and those found guilty of corrupt practices are likely to be banned from trading in drugs and medical devices in what is
a huge potential market. A blacklist of offending companies is to appear in March, and they will be unable to trade in the region where unethical behaviour has taken place for two years. This
comes hot on the heels of an investigation instigated by Beijing into GlaxoSmithKline, accused of bribing officials and doctors at hospitals to increase sales and prices. Though the company has downplayed the significance of the Chinese market at only 3 per cent of its group sales compared to 26 per cent for the US market, there surely must be major concerns about how this will play out in the decades to come. The damage to GSK’s reputation and the increase in the reputation of the Chinese as serious about corruption are major changes on the global business stage.