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Friday, October 9, 2015

Strategic CSR - Bribery

The article in the url below indicates that, finally, the rest of the world is taking the issue of bribery seriously:
"Anti-bribery enforcement actions conducted outside the U.S. outnumbered the actions taken in the U.S. in 2014, according to a new report. Countries other than the U.S. took a total of 15 enforcement actions against foreign bribery, according to the 2014 edition of the Global Enforcement Report from business anti-bribery group Trace International. … The U.S. took 13 actions in 2014, the report said."
Hopefully 2014 indicates a trend that will continue because the rest-of-the-world has a lot of catching-up to do:
"Overall, the U.S. still dominates, however: it's taken 70% of the 269 total foreign bribery enforcement actions from 1977 to 2014 recorded by Trace International."
1977, of course, was when the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act was passed in the U.S. following the Congressional hearings into the Watergate scandal. One of the interesting things that investigation unearthed was the slush funds companies had created to make surreptitious payments to Nixon's re-election committee. What Congress also discovered, however, was the companies were also using these slush funds to make payments (bribes) to foreign elected officials in order to win business contracts. The FCPA was passed in an attempt to prevent such payments and begin holding corporations to account for the illegal and unethical actions of their employees overseas. The modern-day ethics and compliance profession traces its roots to this period.
Have a good weekend.
David Chandler & Bill Werther
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Global Anti-bribery Enforcement Actions Outnumber U.S. in 2014
By Samuel Rubenfeld
June 4, 2015
The Wall Street Journal