Corruption is a major obstacle to economic and social development around the world and adds considerable risk to doing business globally. On the occasion of the International Anti-Corruption Day this week, the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD (BIAC) organized a roundtable with the OECD Working Group on Bribery, calling for close private sector involvement in an ambitious OECD strategy to fight corruption and bribery.
“BIAC considers the OECD a key organization in the fight against bribery and corruption”, said Klaus Moosmayer of Siemens, chair of the BIAC Task Force on Anti-Corruption/Bribery. “Close public-private cooperation is essential to effectively curb corruption and provide a real level playing field for international business.”
The roundtable focused on two major topics where in BIAC’s opinion the OECD can play a key role:
(1) Addressing the demand side of bribery to help establish the necessary confidence for the business community, recognizing that solicitation poses a serious challenge for firms and discourages them from investing in countries where bribe demands are frequent, and
(2) Helping governments put in place a framework that incentivizes companies to build robust compliance programs and to self-report compliance breaches. If companies can be given legal certainty of not being punished for their cooperation, this can lead to major improvements in the fight against corruption.
Eva Hampl, USCIB’s director for investment, trade and financial services participated in the roundtable and spoke about the need to increase transparency and encourage companies to self-report instances of bribery.
BIAC calls upon the OECD and its members to forcefully engage themselves and foster international cooperation in these areas, working closely with the private sector.