Posts Tagged ‘corruption’

A report published by the anti-corruption watchdog ‘Transparency International’ reveals that while several companies perform well on transparency measures of anti-corruption reporting, there is still a great deal of scope for improvement.

The report “Transparency in Corporate Reporting” scored 105 of the top publicly-traded companies across the world based on their public commitment to transparency of anti-corruption measures.  Company scores were based on public availability of information about the anti-corruption programmes the companies have in place, their transparency in reporting on how they structure themselves, and the amount of financial information they provide for each country they operate in.

The findings of the 2012 report are an improvement from its predecessor in 2009. Particularly, companies have improved in their reporting of anti-corruption programmes from an average of 47% to 68%. This could arguably be the result of companies re-evaluating their approach to anti-bribery compliance in response to the Bribery Act 2010 (the Act). The Act created a new corporate offence whereby a commercial organisation can be strictly liable for any failure to prevent persons associated with them from committing acts of bribery. Although the figures suggest that there has been progress, the fact remains that there is still a lot more that can be done to improve transparency and, as a consequence, decrease the risk for a company to fall foul of the Act. Further action is particularly advisable of those who operate in high risk industries, such as the health care, extraction and construction sectors.

Healthcare Sector

The report ranked companies with a number between 0 and 10 (where 0 is regarded as the least transparent and 10 the most transparent). The healthcare industry (which is considered to be a particularly high risk industry in terms of bribery and corruption) averaged an overall score of 5.04. This included an average score of 81% (where 100% means full transparency) for the industry’s performance in relation to its transparency on the anti-corruption programmes it has in place. Transparency within the organisation itself was also assessed. This was determined by assessing the amount of information which companies disclose to their related parties. In this regard the healthcare sector was awarded an average score of 70%. Overall the healthcare sector’s score of 5.04 placed them firmly in the middle position in terms of their transparency of anti-corruption measures amongst the nine sectors analysed.

In conclusion to their report, Transparency International made a number of recommendations of measures for improvement including open publication of the company’s anti-corruption programmes, publication of a list of their related entities, publication of financial accounts for each country the company operates within and the maintenance of a transparent and informative website.

Clearly the statistics show that healthcare companies are taking some measures towards transparency. However a distinctly average score for the health care sector indicates that there remains a great deal of scope for improvement. The Bribery Act 2010 presents real risks for companies which may be exposed to bribery, the risk being particularly increased where they are operating in high risk sectors such as healthcare. Consequences of non-compliance with the Act include unlimited fines and prosecution. Ensuring that “adequate procedures” are in place to prevent bribery within the organisation and the organisations related entities is the only defence available to a company. Transparency in the implementation of these procedures is key. Companies should evaluate the measures they have in place to ensure that they are meeting the requirements of the Act and that the measures taken to meet the requirements are being effectively communicated to those within the organisation, related entities and the public generally.

To read the report in more detail:-



Read Full Post »