The only way is ethics

Written by Anthony Beckett on Wednesday June 12, 2013

Having had the privilege of attending the AMLP Forum on Anti-Bribery and Corruption in London last week, ethics (as well as collaborative action) was a key message. Amongst the many stimulating sessions throughout the two days, the title of the presentation that really struck home to me was ‘The only way is ethics’.

And what was the recommendation? That the way to achieve ethics is not through policies and procedures but through people. There must be the right people with the right mind-set whose aim is to achieve the holy grail of managing to embed the message of ethics into their organisation. In particular at the senior level of management, but remembering this must also be in a proportionate and effective manner.

The recent headline news on LIBOR, Amazon, Starbucks, the use of offshore tax ‘reduction’ schemes…all lead back to one thing: ethics.

So, please watch out for news of two new tools to help us, both of which were discussed at the AMLP Forum.

Firstly, an EU Anti-Corruption Report is due to be published shortly and every two years thereafter. This will be a reporting mechanism (not legislation) aimed at boosting political will. The initial 2013 report will be aimed at focusing political will in the area of public procurement and will highlight corruption related trends across EU Member States. The key message to each member state will be that enforcement must be taken seriously and effectively by the regulators and politicians.

Secondly, we all know of Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perception Index and also their Bribe Payers Index. TI are soon to publish a new report “Diagnosing Bribery Risk”, in collaboration with PwC. This will be reviewing anti-corruption systems and organisational transparency and will also include a country by country report. Included in the research was a survey of 3,000 business people across 30 countries and amazingly 21% overall felt their company did not have an ethical duty to fight corruption. (19% UK, 22% USA, 55% Russia). Wow! A number of other interesting statistics will be included in the report such as 41% or respondents in the UK believe investigative journalism is more effective at stopping corruption in the private sector against just 39% considering the anti-bribery laws as effective.

So people, let’s work in collaboration with these organisations and I highly recommend these two new tools to help you do so.


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