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Public input sought on gold standard for corporate anti bribery practices

Doing business today isn’t what it used to be. Competition is fierce. Cross-border commerce, often in risky environments, is necessary to expand markets. And increased bribery enforcement is becoming a fact of life.

Ten years after the original publication of the ground-breaking Business Principles for Countering Bribery, Transparency International is seeking public input into a proposed update of what has become the gold standard in corporate anti-bribery practices.

When they were devised in 2003, the idea of a dedicated company anti-bribery programme was novel, particularly outside the United States, and there were very few practical guidelines to help companies develop effective programmes to counter bribery.

The Business Principles remain unique in that they were drawn up with the help of a Steering Committee comprised of leading multinationals, other non-governmental organisations, trade unions and ethics experts. Although its membership has changed over the years, this multi-stakeholder group remains closely involved in the maintenance and development of the Business Principles.

Continuing influence of the Business Principles

The impact of the Business Principles has been such that they have influenced anti-bribery codes and the anti-bribery content of leading guidance and standards including the World Economic Forum’s Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI)’s Principles for Countering Bribery, the APEC Code of Conduct for Business, the ISO 26000 Social Responsibility Standard, the World Bank Group Integrity Compliance Guidelines, and more recently the 2011 International Chamber of Commerce for Combatting Corruption.

Widening the scope of the Business Principles

Business principles for countering bribery, cover

In 2009, Transparency International carried out an initial update of the Business Principles. But in response to an increasingly stringent legal environment, changing corporate practice and the advent of new voluntary anti-bribery codes and principles, Transparency International believes the time has come to carry out a more thorough updating of the Business Principles to ensure that they remain the ‘gold standard’ for future development of best practices in corporate anti-bribery policies.

The revised Business Principles proposes new language on important issues including conflicts of interest, the prohibition of facilitation payments, business relationships, and communication and reporting.

Have your say

Continuing the tradition of consultation surrounding the Business Principles, we are once again inviting public comment on the proposed 2013 revisions. Transparency International invites you to give us your feedback by responding to a short questionnaire. Feel free to address any of the questions and provide comment on any topics that you believe to be relevant.

The consultation continues until 27 May 2013.

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