Press release 23rd May 2022

Report shows how companies can use values to enhance their anti-corruption approach

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May 23, 2022 - New research from Transparency International UK provides a roadmap for companies to harness a values-based anti-corruption approach to reduce the risk of unethical or illegal behaviour.

Published today, Values Added explores this emerging area and offers insights for firms seeking to enhance their anti-corruption processes. 

Read the report

Corruption is hugely damaging to global business, with a staggering £2.9trillion ($3.6tn) estimated to be lost annually in the form of bribes and stolen money. For those caught engaging in these practices, the costs can be huge, with Airbus, Rolls Royce and Ericsson just some of the companies that faced substantial fines in recent years.

Meanwhile, a 2022 Global Economic Crime Survey highlights that corruption continues to be a challenge for businesses, with 46% of surveyed organisations reporting experiencing fraud, corruption or other economic crimes in the last two years.

Despite this, many companies continue to opt for a purely rules-based approach that relies on policies and procedures to tell employees how to behave, but it is increasingly clear this alone is not sufficient when it comes to curbing corruption.

 

Duncan Hames, Director of Policy at Transparency International UK, said:

“Anti-corruption approaches have traditionally relied on internal policies and procedures to ensure compliance, but recent high-profile corruption scandals have illustrated vividly that adherence to rules and policies cannot simply be assumed. Motivating employees to act with integrity - by instilling company values which support their approach to anti-corruption - can complement these rules-based programmes and reduce the risk of illegal or unethical behaviour. This research serves as an essential reference for compliance professionals seeking to learn more about this emerging area, and a guide for companies wishing to introduce values into their anti-corruption approach.”

 

Values Added outlines practical steps to help companies through the key stages of implementing values to enhance their anti-corruption approaches: defining a company’s desired values, understanding those already in place, embedding values, and finally measuring their impact. It draws from focus groups, and interviews with experts from across business, government and academia, as well as existing literature

The report identifies 10 key learnings for companies, including:

Integrate your approach: Values and rules should not be seen to be mutually exclusive. On the contrary, anti-corruption approaches will be more effective if values are integrated into the rules.

Relate values to everyday work: Demonstrate company values in all aspects of work. Make sure managers lead by example through actions not just words alone.

Measure: To understand if incorporating values has had an impact on anti-corruption risk, companies need to measure the effectiveness of their approach.

 

Values Added is the third in a series of guides for companies that wish to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their anti-corruption approaches.

Open Business shows how companies can embrace transparency to reduce corruption risk while also building consumer and public trust, protecting and building their reputation and gaining a competitive advantage.

Make it Count explores why and how a company ought to measure the effectiveness of its approach to anti-corruption, provides practical considerations, and offers examples of metrics that are proving useful for companies.

 

 

Notes to editors:

The annual costs of international corruption are estimated to amount to a staggering $3.6 trillion in the form of bribes and stolen money.

A 2022 Global Economic Crime Survey by PwC highlights that corruption continues to be a challenge for businesses. 46% of surveyed organisations reported experiencing fraud, corruption or other economic crimes in the last 24 months.

This project has been made possible by backing from our corporate funders: GSK, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Norges Bank Investment Management and R&G Insights Lab at Ropes & Gray.