Corruption is very bad for society as well as bad for business, resulting from severe operational, reputational and financial risks. Corruption creates severe civil, criminal and business outcomes. Corruption also restricts many people on a daily basis in their enjoyment of fundamental freedoms, human rights, contributing to constant poverty and hindering economic opportunity. There is no magic stick for fighting corruption.
Despite the size of the supply chain, corruption is defined as the misuse of business or personal power for self-benefit through conflicts of interest, bribery, fraud, and extortion that can ruin your company’s reputation and may face severe financial, operational regulatory and/or legal consequences.Businesses must create and implement anti-corruption programs and policies to eliminate corruption risks and meet their legal compliance obligations. Implementing appropriate procedures can help manage these major risks while creating a competitive business advantage.
Now more than ever, organizations are taking action to implement effective and serious anti-corruption policies and procedures within their operations and strategies. Here are some recommended action steps you can promote accountability and transparency in your organization.
Embed anti-corruption as part of your organization operations and culture – particularly in governing third party relationships. As a business owner or manager, it is your responsibility to show your staff members, suppliers, customers and clients that your organization has a zero-tolerance policy on corruption, fraud and unethical behavior.
Assess Your Risks
As a manager or owner, it is your responsibility to know your risks and prepare measures for them. Proactively open a discussion with your employees, suppliers, agents and intermediaries to check the situations in which your business is most at risk of corruption. You can recognize opportunities to improve your company by improving compliance.
Define Your Goals
You should clearly define the real meaning of success for your business. Develop your objectives, policies and strategies and get suggestions from your employees, vendors and intermediaries by clearly showing the importance of these policies and programs.
You should design an anti-corruption policy and programs integral throughout your organization, including the value chain. The anti-corruption program that you rolled out should specifically address each and every corruption risk uncovered in your assessment. Training and proper explanation on this program for all staff members (new hires) and all third parties is important. Continuous reinforcement is also key.
This is the most important step. What gets easily measured gets done correctly. You should measure and monitor and the impact your anti-corruption program to identify what is working well and what still needs to refine.
If you consistently communicate the progress of your policies to stakeholders, it will help you to strive for continuous improvement and continue to reinforce the importance of anti-corruption to your business. You could also provide a help line that each individual team members and/or third parties can contact to ask for ethical advice.