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TI-UK Corporate Political Engagement Index 2018

What is the Corporate Political Engagement Index (CPEI)?

The Index assesses the public reporting practices of companies in relation to their global political engagement. The Corporate Political Engagement Index was first published in 2015 and in 2018 we will release the second edition. A copy of the 2015 edition can be found here.

What do companies have to do?

Please download the question set we will be using to assess your company. It contains a column for a link to source material (or, if required, some explanation). Your company may voluntarily complete this form and return it to us before 1 April 2018 and we will use this form as the starting point for our research.  Irrespective of whether you complete the form, we will conduct our full research of your public materials.  However, completing this form will maximise the prospects of us being able to quickly, easily and accurately identify all relevant information about your company and reduce the time commitment for you on review and responding to our preliminary findings.

Please return your completed forms to cpei@transparency.org.uk

Why is TI-UK conducting the index?

Corporate political engagement is a legitimate activity. When done responsibly, it helps to shape the business environment and benefits the democratic process by providing expertise and ensuring that legitimate points of view are heard by public decision makers. This can result in laws and regulations that are well-designed and in the public interest.

However, in the UK and many other countries, repeated political scandals and revelations of the unethical actions of a small number of lobbyists have led to high levels of public mistrust in the relationship between government and so-called ‘big business’.

For companies, corporate political engagement carries clear risks of bribery and corruption, conflicts of interest and reputational damage. Any interactions with the political process need careful management to avoid falling foul of anti-bribery and corruption legislation. The risks are increased by the fact that companies are vulnerable to mistakes or abuse by employees and third parties acting on their behalf such as agents, advisers and consultant lobbyists.

It is Transparency International’s policy position that transparency in reporting demonstrates a company’s commitment to ethical conduct and makes companies more accountable for shortcomings. By reporting publicly on relevant policies, procedures and activities, companies not only mitigate risk, but also provide the necessary information to make them accountable to investors and the public.

How is data on companies collected?

Our assessment of a company’s individual record on political engagement is based entirely on the information made available to the public by that company.  In particular, we will review your company website, including downloadable reports for evidence of reporting on global political engagement as well as any functioning hyperlinks to other materials you include on your website. In reviewing your company’s materials, we will assess the completeness and accessibility of the information, in particular:

  • the amount of information a company publishes about their overall approach to political engagement
  • the issues and topics of material interest to them and to their stakeholders
  • the specific activities they undertake
  • key expenditures figures

Once we have assessed your company we will notify you of our preliminary findings and provide you with a short period of time to bring any corrections or additional supporting material to our attention.

Has TI produced guidance on responsible political engagement?

TI-UK has published Wise Counsel or Dark Arts which provides practical advice on addressing the challenges of managing political engagement. The guidance covers a broad spectrum of corporate activity including: political contributions; lobbying; memberships of trade associations; exchanges of people between the public and private sectors; and political activities in the workplace.

What will happen with the results of the index?

The Index will be published in the second half of 2018. Each company will be ranked from Band A (highest) to F (lowest) using publicly available information.  Please see our 2015 index here to see the previous format of our reporting.

What is the timeline of the index?

This evidence gathering for the Index will be carried out during April and May 2018. However, we are notifying you of your company’s inclusion in the Index and the methodology we will use now so as to provide you with some lead-time to review your company’s performance against our Index methodology and incorporate any changes and improvements which your company would like factored into our scoring.

How is the 2018 index different to the 2015 index?

For the 2018 edition of the index we have made alterations to the question set based on company feedback and in response to current risks relating to corporate political engagement. Download the question set and evidence sheet here.

Our 2015 index took into account both information made available to the public by the company and information only available internally. The 2018 index is based entirely on information made available to the public by the company.

The 2015 index focussed on large FTSE 100 companies.  The 2018 index again assesses those companies in order to look for changes over time, but also includes the list of companies on the Government’s Strategic Relations programme.

The ‘big four’ consultancy firms are also included.

How do I contact TI-UK about this index?

If you have any questions, please contact Tilly Prior in the Business Integrity Programme team on 020 3096 7676 or email us at cpei@transparency.org.uk

 

 

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