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Programme Papers from the 9th IACC
past IACCs



The 9th International Anti-Corruption Conference

The Papers

Abstracts of presentations

Day 2, Workshop 3

Berenbeim, Ronald:
How Effective are Corporate Codes in Combating Corruption?

An interest in governance and company codes is important for three reasons: first, it is part of the "new geography of power" and the "privatisation of norm-making". There is little doubt that the global financial, product, and service markets have blurred the distinction between public and private sector rule making. Second, this new geography of power strengthens the argument that addressing corruption's supply side is a critical priority. Third, the pressure is growing on companies to make more effort to cut off corruption's supply side because public opinion is shifting in many countries to the common sense conclusion that if no bribes are paid, people will stop asking for them. Codes are growing in importance for companies, but still gave limited success in combating corruption. Many include an asymmetry between giving and receiving; are not always binding on vendors, suppliers, etc.; lack embeddedness in an atmosphere of trust which allows employees to report corruption behaviour; and lack compliance verification procedures.

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Cragg, Dr. Wesley :
Human Rights and Business Ethics: Fashioning a New Social Contract

Data on the perceived level of corruption from a cross-section of countries have been fruitfully introduced into empirical research lately. This study reviews a large variety of studies on the consequences and causes of corruption. It includes research on the impact of corruption on investment, GDP, institutional quality, government expenditure, poverty and international flows of capital, goods and aid. Research on the causes of corruption focuses on the absence of competition, policy distortions, political systems, public salaries as well as an examination of colonialism, gender and other cultural dimensions.

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Gregory, Holly J. and Simms, Marsha E.:
Corporate Governance: What It Is and Why It Matters

This paper discusses the concept of corporate governance, and why it is attracting increasing attention. Corporate governance is important because the quality of corporate governance impacts: (1) the efficiency with which a corporation employs assets; (2) its ability to attract low-cost capital; (3) its ability to meet societal expectations; and (4) its overall performance. Effective corporate governance is also closely related to efforts to reduce corruption in business dealings. Effective governance systems should make it difficult for corrupt practices to develop and take root in a company. Strong governance may not prevent corruption, but it should make it more likely that corrupt practices are discovered early and eliminated.

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Hill, Gayle :
How can compliance be promoted and monitored?

The paper presents the matrix of measures which Australia has instituted to satisfy its obligations under the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention. Since the Convention involves more far reaching principles of corporate criminal responsibility than exist under the common law in Australia, Australian companies operating outside Australia experience a considerable shift in legal compliance obligations. The offence of bribery of a foreign public official has been included in the Commonwealth Criminal Code. The Code has far reaching principles relating to corporate criminal responsibility: compliance on "paper" is not sufficient - there must be an environment of compliance operating within the company. The Australian Standard AS3806 is a recognised standard for compliance programs which covers the structural, operational and maintenance elements to be included in any program. It does not prescribe the actual elements of an international corruption compliance program, or indeed any specific compliance program, but does serve to signpost the essential components of an effective compliance program. In addition to these external and formal institutions, several additional measures are required to promote and maintain a culture of compliance within companies.

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Jones, Roy :
Fighting Corruption: The Role Of Trade Unions

In October 1997, three international trade union organisations the TUAC, ICFTU and ETUC issued a joint statement with their employer counterparts the BIAC, ICC and UNICE welcoming the agreement on the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions and urging governments to ratify the Convention. The first and main reason for unions' interest in this subject is the link between corruption and abuses of freedom of association and other core labour standards. The bribery of public officials is also clearly an endemic problem when levels of public sector pay are so low that in some cases it is impossible to provide a family income. Again this is a problem associated with situations existing in several Asian countries where unions are restricted from organising in the public sector and negotiating for public sector workers. Another reason for trade union interest is that in the fight against corruption it is employees who expose corruption in organisations - the "whistle-blowers" - who are likely to suffer victimisation. Actions to be taken by Trade Unions include encouraging ratification of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention; improving protection of "whistle-blowers"; monitoring corporate codes of conduct; showing "zero-tolerance" of corruption within Unions; negotiating living wages for public sector workers; and contributing to capacity building in "partnership" approaches for other actors in the anti-corruption movement.

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Shelton, Joanna R. :
World Bank/OECD Global Corporate Governance Forum Remarks

The paper introduces an overview of the OECD Principles of Corporate Governance and their purpose; outlines why it is believed that good corporate governance is so important for the long-term sustainable growth of economies around the world; and touches on the role the OECD envisions playing in co-operation with the World Bank. The Principles represent the first inter- governmental accord on the common elements of good corporate governance. Their main utility is to serve as a reference point for countries to evaluate their laws, regulations and practices in this area, taking into account national differences and differing market structures and traditions. Corporate Governance is highly important because of the transformation of economies over the past decade from state-directed and centrally controlled systems to ones that are increasingly market-based. This shift requires that laws, institutions and practices also evolve to support these economies in our increasingly integrated world.

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National Foundation, "Russian Business Culture":
Business Ethics in Russia

The paper sets out ethical principles according to which the Russian businessperson should conduct his or her affairs.

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National Foundation "Russian Business Culture":
Recommendations on Introducing Business Conduct Ethics in Russia

The paper lists detailed recommendations for business associations, the State, the mass media and business education institutions on how to implement the adoption of a business ethics code in Russia.

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