The CSR Newsletters are a freely-available resource generated as a dynamic complement to the textbook, Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility: Sustainable Value Creation.

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Strategic CSR - Bribery

The article in the url below marks an important step forward in the campaign to minimize instances of bribery by corporations abroad:
"U.K. oil, gas, mining and logging companies will, as of Jan. 1, 2015, have to disclose … payments to foreign governments of more than 86,000 pounds (about $135,000) for taxes, royalties, permits, bonuses and the like, and they'll have to do it on both a country-by-country and project-by-project basis."
In other words, rather than merely punishing firms that get caught, this legislation requires the reporting of all payments (legitimate or otherwise) over the minimum amount by energy companies. This is useful because, in the past, firms have cloaked bribes in legitimate-sounding payments, such as consulting fees. Now, all payments will have to be reported, allowing regulators the opportunity to identify suspicious patterns:
"The U.K. is the first European Union country to implement an EU directive passed in June 2013 requiring member states to pass laws requiring the disclosures. The first company payment reports will be published in the U.K. in 2016."
The hope is that this action in the UK will encourage the SEC to move forward with a similar proposal in the U.S. that has run into strong industry resistance and is currently stalled.
Have a good weekend.
David Chandler & Bill Werther
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U.K. Implements Extractive Transparency Rule
By Samuel Rubenfeld
December 1, 2014
The Wall Street Journal