It Doesn't Pay To Be A Corrupt Corporation

You pay the bribe, your company gets caught, you pay the fine and then move forward from there. Everything’s taken care of – right? Not so fast.

Posted by Joe Gerard in Corruption, Ethics & Compliance on February 9th, 2011

You pay the bribe, your company gets caught, you pay the fine and then move forward from there. Everything’s taken care of – right? Not so fast. Companies that have been accused of bribery or other forms of corruption don’t get a clean slate overnight. Overcoming a corruption allegation or lawsuit can be difficult, as the stigma sticks to a company’s reputation long after everything is settled. On Monday, Deloitte released the findings of their annual “Look Before You Leap” survey, which solicits information from corporate executives, investment bankers, hedge fund managers and other key members of the financial services industry.

Don’t Jump Right In

The Deloitte survey provides evidence that companies value integrity and transparency, and are taking the time to evaluate critical factors before jumping into any business relationships. In a press release published by Deloitte, “Look before you leap,” the company lists the key findings from the survey:

  • Almost two-thirds (63 percent) of total survey respondents identified Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and anti-corruption issues that led to an aborted deal or a renegotiation over the past three years. 64% of respondents in the financial services industry did the same.
  • A clear majority (60 percent) of respondents said that they have either pulled out of a transaction or adjusted deal pricing to reflect compliance and integrity-related issues.
  • China is highest on the list of countries or regions ranked according to concerns about the potential for compliance and integrity-related issues when doing business. More than 80% of respondents said they were significantly or somewhat concerned about China.
  • Entities from Mexico appear to be very finely attuned to compliance and integrity due diligence issues, and highly confident in their ability to meet the challenges.

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The Takeaway

In today’s world, word gets out quickly. An incident that occurs overseas is likely going to be headline news around the world moments later. The key findings from the survey prove that there’s no room for corruption in the workplace. When companies are looking at other groups and organizations to partner with, they keep in mind that the actions of the partnering company could come back to bite them if they don’t choose wisely. Here are some of the other factors identified by the survey that have been built into the selection process:

  • Reputation- Companies have made it clear that they only want to partner with those that remain good corporate citizens. Keep your track record clean and you’ll be in the clear.
  • Transparency- Why bother clamming up if you have nothing to hide? Increase transparency within your organization and with the public. Make sure your accounting reports and statements paint a true, accurate picture of your organization’s financial standing – as well as where money comes and goes.
  • Compliance- Tighter legislation, heightened enforcement and skyrocketing fines have made compliance mandatory. However, compliance is challenged at the local level when companies begin to operate in other countries. Avoid being influenced by practices from abroad that don’t comply with the laws in your company’s home country to reduce liability and risk. It’s better to gain business by following the law.

Joe Gerard
Joe Gerard

CEO, i-Sight

Spend my days showing off the i-Sight investigative case management software and finding ways to help clients improve their investigations. Usually working with corporate security, HR & employee relations, compliance and legal teams.

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