TI(NZ) Releases new report "As good as we are perceived?"

Media Release:

8 February 2010

Transparency International (NZ) study raises concerns about the performance of many of NZ’s major companies

Gerald McGhie, Chairman of Transparency International New Zealand said today that only 44% of NZX 50 companies have specific policies prohibiting bribery . “This compares,” he said “with 72 % in the United Kingdom, 69% in the United States and 50% in Europe as a whole".


Mr McGhie was commenting on a Transparency International New Zealand Report released today entitled As Good As We Are Perceived?. The Report assesses the number of NZX50 companies who have in place stringent policies preventing corrupt acts. The Report’s contents were developed from data collected by the Australian think tank, Corporate Analysis. Enhanced Responsibility (CAER).

Gerald McGhie added, “NZ has developed an excellent record as a country relatively free from bribery and corruption. TI(NZ) is concerned , however, that complacency about our performance has the potential to damage NZ’s reputation.”

As Good As We Are Perceived raises concerns about the performance of New Zealand’s major companies and concludes that many of our leading firms may be falling behind international best practice.

The report finds that only 18% of NZX50 companies have policies regulating facilitation payments and 24% of companies fail to meet even a limited rating for codes of conduct and ethics. 20 NZX50 companies are operating in what are considered high risk bribery and corruption sectors. Of these, nearly half of those companies have no policy guidelines for dealing with corruption or bribery and less than half provide training for employees on the company’s code of conduct.

Mr McGhie congratulated those companies who were already recognising the need for effective corruption and bribery policies for business practice when operating in New Zealand or overseas.

But he noted, “A significant number of our NZX50 companies do not adequately recognise the seriousness or impact of corruption. Corruption is a major cost carried by international commerce. A conservative estimate of the cost of corruption is more than US$1 trillion per annum and the majority of that cost is being carried by the world’s poorest citizens.”

ENDS

For additional comment, contact TI(NZ) Directors; Alex Tan, 09 355 8502 or Rodger Spiller (09) 366 1672.

Copies of the Report As Good As we are Perceived may be obtained from Transparency International (New Zealand), executive@transparencynz.org.nz or downloaded from the Transparency International (New Zealand) Inc website http://www.transparency.org.nz

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