While it’s no secret corruption has plagued businesses since time immemorial, there appears to be a slow and gradual trend toward greater transparency in global and national economic transactions (the advent of global communication is facilitating this transparency). Now before you get too cynical, big businesses, however insincere you think they may come across, are devoting greater time to such a cause.
Take for example the UNAA Sustainability Leadership Seminar: Building Business Integrity, Preventing Corruption, which is taking place at the ANZ Centre in Collins Street, Melbourne, on the 27th of February.
The event, which begins at 2pm (registration at 1:30pm), runs for three hours and will be headed by keynote speakers such as Neville Tiffen (Global Head of Compliance, Rio Tinto) and Dean Newlan (former chair at Standards Australia’s Fraud and Corruption Control Standard and Whistleblower Protection Standard Working Parties). Its aim is to address the increased risk faced by Australian businesses in bribery and corruption, as found in the latest OECD report.
The report found that “Australia’s enforcement of its foreign bribery laws has been extremely low, with just a single case leading to prosecutions out of 28 referrals in 13 years”. The event therefore “seeks to raise awareness of these issues and encourage Australian business engagement in related integrity and transparency initiatives”.
The seminar will also highlight the experiences of Australian businesses in implementing and reporting on anti-corruption programs and organisational transparency. The event facilitator Rosemary Sainty (adviser, corporate engagement – Transparency International Australia, and former head, secretariat – UN Global Compact Network Australia), will introduce a number of key tools and resources that businesses, both government and private, can access to protect themselves. These include:
- Transparency International Report – Transparency in Corporate Reporting: Assessing the World’s Largest Companies.
- Transparency International Report – Business Principles for Countering Bribery.
- UN Convention Against Corruption.
- UN Global Compact Principle 10 on Anti-Corruption.
- B20 Task Force on Improving Transparency and Anti-Corruption.
The seminar will also discuss key issues facing Australian businesses exposed to high-risk environments, while providing examples of how such businesses dealt with their situations.
Overall, the seminar seeks to encourage the participation of Australian businesses in a culture of transparency. Furthermore, its aim is to raise awareness of and support for other global initiatives on anti-corruption, particularly those listed above.
For more details on the UNAA Sustainability Leadership Seminar, take a look at their website.