Corruption is one of the world’s greatest challenges, and a significant obstacle to sustainable development. Corruption also has a significant impact on the private sector, impeding economic growth, distorting competition and giving rise to serious legal, financial and reputational risks.
Transparency International defines corruption as “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain”. Corruption can take many forms that vary in degree from the minor use of influence to institutionalised bribery, and includes financial gain and non-financial advantages.
As value chains become more complex and diverse, and we see a range of challenges being integrated such as the connections between human rights, labour issues, environment and corruption, businesses need to understand the risks and drivers, and how to address them within their organisations.
What can businesses do to work against corruption?
The UN Global Compact’s Business Against Corruption: A Framework for Action provides businesses with a roadmap and tools to help in the practical application of policies aimed at eliminating corruption in every aspect of their operations. It follows the UN Global Compact Management Model framework and incorporates Transparency International’s 6 step implementation process.
Businesses are also encouraged to participate in platforms for collective action between companies, governments, UN agencies and civil society to realise a more transparency global economy.
Anti-Corruption Call to Action
The UN Global Compact invites businesses to sign on to the Call to Action to Governments from the Private Sector in support of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
The statement urges Governments to promote anti-corruption measures and implement related policies to establish systems of good governance. Specifically, it asks Governments to take action on the following:
- Fully implement and enforce the tenets of the UN Convention against Corruption by strengthening anti-corruption policies, laws and enforcement mechanisms to create a level playing field and incentivise good behaviour;
- Make a commitment to reducing corruption risks from procurement and contract processes of large-scale projects that are designed to support sustainable development;
- Commit to engaging in competitive and transparent procurement processes through public advertising of all government procurement cases;
- Commit to transparency in disclosing payments made by the private sector; and
- Support corporate efforts to disclose anti-corruption implementation, enhance corporate governance, and innovative collective action and public-private partnership initiatives.
Corruption is the single greatest obstacle to economic and social development around the world, with costly impacts on the private sector. Signing up to the Call to Action will lend your business’ voice to this critical effort to help bring corporate sustainability to the next level by addressing corruption in all its forms.
To sign or for further information, see here.
Further resources are available here