Private companies sign first Argentinean business sector agreement
A group of nine water-pipe manufacturers, representing 80 percent of Argentina’s market for potable water and water-drainage infrastructure, today signed the first Business Sector Transparency Agreement in Argentina.
“This important and innovative voluntary initiative demonstrates the leadership role the private sector can play in preventing and combating bribery in business,” commented Silke Pfeiffer, Transparency International’s Regional Director for the Americas. “The Argentinean Agreement is a model of good practice that should be replicated in other business sectors in Argentina and throughout the region.”
With the support of Poder Ciudadano, the National Chapter of Transparency International in Argentina, the nine companies have committed themselves to a no-bribes agreement that will have a powerful impact on the way they do business with the government and the private sector.
The Agreement, the first in Argentina, is based on the Business Principles for Countering Bribery, an anti-bribery code developed by Transparency International in co-operation with leading companies and other stakeholders. It will commit participating companies to implement and promote effective practices against bribery, corruption and unfair competition.
The companies have agreed to:
- Promote transparency in public bidding processes
- Refrain from engaging in corruption and bribery in all its forms
- Refrain from making political contributions
- Deal with sales intermediaries in a clear, transparent manner
- Fight against tax evasion.
The Argentinean agreement, signed by national and multinational companies as well as by the Argentinean Association for Sanitation Engineering and Environmental Sciences, is supported by the Avina Foundation in Argentina. It foresees the creation of an Ethics Committee that will develop and establish a monitoring mechanism for the Agreement and establish sanctions for companies that breach it.
“Achieving this Agreement after having worked closely with the companies is a great outcome for Poder Ciudadano and for our country,” said Carlos Facal, Chairman of Poder Ciudadano, “But, at the same time, it’s the actual implementation of the Agreement that will demonstrate its true value.”
“Poder Ciudadano is fully committed to following up on this important achievement and to helping facilitate the implementation of the Agreement in the coming year,” Mr Facal continued.
This Agreement is the second initiative in the water-pipe manufacturing sector in Latin America. Last April, a similar agreement was signed in Colombia, with the support of TI’s National Chapter there.
Transparency International is the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption.
Note to editors: to access the full text of the agreement in Spanish, please click here.
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