The Basel Institute on Governance has joined forces with the Alliance for Integrity and more than 60 partners from 12 countries to raise awareness of the importance of business integrity – and the challenges it can present to individuals, their families, business partners and society.

Local certification is emerging as an interesting way for large companies and their supply chains to help address compliance and due diligence issues that can be a barrier to business. A recent Basel Institute working paper showed how local certification programmes developed with a Collective Action approach can help:

The UK government's British Integrity Initiative has announced that from now until the end of July, the Department for International Development will cover the full cost of the Basel Institute’s integrity guidance services for eligible small- and medium-sized businesses.

Companies currently benefiting from the programme, which until now has been subsidised by 60–80 percent depending on the company’s size, will also see their fees waived.

Transparency in the extractives sector is widely seen as a key tool for improving accountability and deterring corruption. Yet for those very reasons, it is a puzzle that so many governments in corruption-prone countries have voluntarily signed up to greater scrutiny in this area, by joining the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

This Transparency International report evaluates the transparency of corporate reporting by the world’s 124 largest publicly listed companies. The report assesses the disclosure practices of companies with respect to their anti-corruption programmes, company holdings and the disclosure of key financial information on a country-by-country basis. It follows on from a 2012 report which focused on the world’s 105 largest publicly traded companies.

Collective Action is becoming increasingly popular as a tool to help solve some of the more difficult and systemic aspects of bribery. It also plays an important role for peer companies keen to ensure a level playing field when acquiring new business.

Lawyers can help their clients to identify, join or initiate new forms of Collective Action because the opportunities and scope are so broad and flexible. There is the potential therefore to find something suitable for all companies wherever they operate in the world. 

An important factor for success in anti-corruption Collective Action is that it should be a business-driven endeavour. That being said, the role of civil society must be recognised for its important contributions towards successful multi-stakeholder approaches against corruption.

This article from the Spring 2016 edition of Ethical Boardroom magazine looks at how building a strong coalition with civil society puts business on the front foot.