Business principles for countering bribery /A Multi Stakeholder Initiative led by Transparency International/
More than ever, the risks from bribery are a major concern for enterprises, whether they are confronted with demands for bribes, faced with competitors acting corruptly or undermined by employees violating their codes of conduct.
Since the Business Principles for Countering Bribery were first published in 2003, the environment has changed considerably. The advent of stricter domestic and foreign bribery laws and increasing enforcement, the imposition of record fines and the threat of criminal penalties for company directors and employees have been sending shock waves through the business community. Furthermore, pressures are mounting from socially responsible investment funds and indices, which are applying anti-bribery criteria to their screening procedures.
As regulators and stakeholders become less tolerant of lapses, responsible companies increasingly understand that they must undertake continuous efforts to ensure that they identify and mitigate the risks of bribery effectively.
To assist companies in the design and implementation of effective anti-bribery policies, Transparency International (TI) and Social Accountability International joined forces to launch the Business Principles for Countering Bribery in 2003. The development of the Business Principles was achieved through a multi-stakeholder process with the cooperation of a Steering Committee drawn from business, academia, trade unions and other non-governmental bodies. Although its composition has changed over the years, the Steering Committee has remained closely involved in efforts to disseminate and maintain the Business Principles.
The Business Principles have become a major platform for TI’s private sector activities. They have also influenced a wide range of anti-bribery standards and initiatives. In the past decade, the Business Principles have been translated into more than 10 languages and used extensively by the Transparency International network in its work with the business community. They have also informed a number of Transparency International’s key research tools. This third edition reflects recent developments in anti-bribery practice and incorporates changes to the original text based on the experience gained since an earlier revision in 2009 and feedback from a public consultation in recent months. The Steering Committee has contributed its valuable knowledge and expertise to this process.