TI study finds the world’s biggest companies need to be a lot more transparent

105 biggest public companies report most on codes of conduct, least on payments to governments

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat



Translations: ZH | FR | ES


The world’s largest publicly-traded companies are reporting more than in the past about their anti-corruption programmes but still need to do a lot more to increase transparency in reporting on their operations, according to a new study by anti-corruption group Transparency International.

Transparency in Corporate Reporting: Assessing the World’s Largest Companies scored 105 of the top publicly-traded companies based on their public commitment to transparency.

“Multinational corporations can and must play a significant role in the global fight against corruption. As the world continues to recover from the deep economic pain of 2008, the leadership at more companies must commit to stopping corruption,” said Transparency International’s Chair, Huguette Labelle.

Company scores ranged from 0 to 10, where 0 is the least transparent and 10 is the most transparent, and were based on public availability of information about anti-corruption systems, transparency in reporting on how they structure themselves and the amount of financial information they provide for each country they operate in.

Overall, companies showed improvement in their reporting on their commitments to anti-corruption programmes, as compared to a Transparency International study of the same companies from 2008.

Norway’s Statoil, the highest scoring company, scored 8.3. Statoil discloses significant information about its anti-corruption programmes, subsidiaries, taxes and profits across its 37 countries of operations.

Still, the study found that reporting by banks and insurers on transparency measures underperformed across the board even though opaque company structures played a contributing role in the recent financial crises and in spite of a significant focus on fixing the lack of transparency in this sector. The 24 financial companies included in the report scored an average of 4.2.

“If country-level financial information is not adequately disclosed, it is difficult to know how operations in many developing countries contribute to local governments. Experience has shown that the requirement to report encourages companies to build strong management systems supporting disclosures, and in the process improving their anti-corruption systems,” said Jermyn Brooks, Chair of Transparency International’s Business Advisory Board.

A lack of transparency makes it harder to identify where companies earn profits, pay taxes, or contribute to political campaigns. The study shows, for example, that about half of the companies evaluated do not disclose information about political contributions.

“The multinational companies remain an important part of the problem of corruption around the world. The time has come for them to be co-leading the solutions. For this they need to dramatically improve,” said Cobus de Swardt, Managing Director of Transparency International.

Transparency International calls on companies to fight corruption by disclosing more information about how they mitigate corruption and by making public how they are organised and how monies flow in the countries in which they operate. Only with this level of information can citizens the world over know how much money flows into public budgets, a key issue of accountability for governments everywhere.

Governments and regulators should make transparency obligatory for all companies seeking export subsidies or competing for public contracts. Investors should demand greater transparency in corporate reporting to ensure both ethical, sustainable business growth as well as sound risk management.

###

Transparency International is the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption


For any press enquiries please contact

Chris Sanders
Media and Public Relations Manager
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
+49 30 3438 20666

Latest

Support Transparency International

Stopping Dirty Money: the Global Effective-O-Meter

As of December 2017, global effectiveness at stopping money laundering stands at 32% effectiveness.

Corruption in the USA: The difference a year makes

A new survey by Transparency International shows that the US government has a long way to go to win back citizens’ trust.

Anti-Corruption Day 2017: Empowering citizens’ fight against corruption

The 9 December, is Anti-corruption Day. A key part of Transparency International’s work is to help people hold their governments to account. Have a look at what we've been doing around the world!

Digital Award for Transparency: Honouring digital initiatives to fight corruption

The Digital Award for Transparency awards individuals and civil society organisations who have developed digital technology tools used to fight corruption. The award aims at strengthening and promoting existing initiatives that promote good governance through three categories: Open Data, Citizen Engagement and Anti-Corruption Tools.

Unearthing corruption risks in mining approvals

From resource-rich West Africans nations, to the mining giants of the Pacific and North America, every time a government signs a deal to allow mining of its natural resources there are corruption risks – no matter where that country is.

TI launches Clean Contracting Manifesto, calls for G20 adoption

Governments spend huge sums of money via public procurement every year yet the concentration of money, government discretion and corporate influence in providing these vital good and services makes it particularly vulnerable to corruption. Transparency International has launched a Clean Contracting Manifesto to ensure that the whole lifecycle of public procurement is transparent, accountable, efficient and in the public interest.

Preventing corruption in state-owned enterprises

In many countries public services such as energy, water, transportation and health care are provided by enterprises either controlled or partly-owned by the government. These state-owned enterprises (SOEs) can be vulnerable to corruption. Transparency International researched ways SOEs can combat corruption - check it out here!

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media

Would you like to know more?

Sign up to stay informed about corruption news and our work around the world