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The 9th International Anti-Corruption Conference

The Papers

Statement to Plenary from Panel

13 October 1999
Ten Wolsde, Jaap
Senior Partner, KPMG, The Netherlands

I'm originally an accountant. I head the forensic accountants within KMPG in Europe, that is a group that investigates all types of bad behaviour and especially corruption. Four years ago I set up a business group of ethical and integrity advising which was new in the Netherlands - and I believe new in the world - and that group have now gradually grown to a high status group seen in the world in this area. I am chairman of the world-wide network of ethical advisors in KPMG. My day to day business is advising companies on codes of conduct, on reporting on social behaviour, ethical behaviour. For instance, Shell, with the development in their reporting. I hope we have an opportunity to talk about this in more detail. I investigate and change cultures in organisations: organisations from police, organisations up to the Shells of the world. We investigate sexual harassment: teasing, violence at work and other bad behaviour. Where many persons can only talk about it I am confronted daily with the corruption scene from the game of golf to the account in Switzerland.

To end with a personal comment on the subject of today, I believe that taking on corruption - it's a good idea to take it from organisational points - take an organisation and let that move upwards in this area. I'll give you an example: companies are starting to report on ethical things like Shell is doing, and Shell reported a year ago that they had 23 cases of corruption, in 1997. In 1998 they are reporting that they have 3 cases of corruption. Imagine what it is within a Shell organisation if you are a manager of a plant in Africa or in Europe somewhere and you have one or two of those cases in your company. You will be seen in Shell as a person who is not looking after the interests of Shell because the number in the next report is increasing on corruption. And if you jump to police organisations, if you make police organisations report on ethical and social things, it has a tremendous influence inwards on the company and that's what I would like to end with.

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