News, Sustainability Governance

Bribery Prevention: A Changing Landscape

Kylie Porter | May 6, 2020

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), corruption amounts to 2 per cent of global economic output — or roughly US$1.5 – $2 trillion globally. While corruption is a global issue, there are some industries that are more susceptible to bribery and corruption risk than others. These include extractives, construction, transportation and the financial services sectors.

The Tenth Principle of the UN Global Compact states that “Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.” This means that businesses should develop policies and programmes that reduce their corruption and assist with creating a more transparent global economy.

Whilst the updated ASX Governance Principles and Recommendations require that listed entities have an anti-bribery policy, there are still very few companies with resources dedicated to anti-bribery and corruption or with the in-house expertise required to develop effective mechanisms to reduce bribery and corruption risk.

However, change is coming. Over the past six months bribery prevention related activities have increased. This includes the recent updates to the ASX Governance Principles, the re-introduction of the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Combatting Corporate Crime) Bill 2019 and the Attorney-General’s Department publishing the Draft Guidance on adequate procedures to prevent foreign bribery.

Whilst businesses are becoming more cognisant of the need to have resources dedicated to anti-bribery and corruption, many small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in Australia are struggling to keep up with this newly evolving and demanding space. Many simply do not have the resources, or the time, to navigate what is often a complex and challenging environment.

The Bribery Prevention Network seeks to address this challenge. The network is a public-private partnership that draws on the expertise of Australia’s leading experts in anti-bribery and corruption including the Global Compact Network Australia, the Attorney-General’s Department, the Australian Federal Police, Transparency International Australia and a number of leading organisations from the private sector.

The Network will provide free, reliable, high-quality tools, policies and procedures to help all Australian organisations prevent, detect and address bribery and corruption. It is expected to be launched in September 2020.

The Global Compact Network Australia and Allens invite you to attend a discussion on the changing landscape of bribery and its prevention on 7 May from 12:00 – 1:15pm. Registration information can be found here.

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Kylie Porter

Kylie is a sustainability expert with over 18 years of experience in corporate affairs, sustainability and strategy roles across a broad range of industries. During her career, Kylie has helped numerous companies develop and implement responsible business strategies, managed reputation risk for environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and wrote and managed policies across various thematic areas including climate change and human rights.