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Suzanne Snively on the importance of supply chain business integrity
Transparency International New Zealand’s Chair, Suzanne Snively, represented TINZ at TI’s Business Integrity Programme (BIP) in Berlin 21 – 23 March 2017.
The BIP brought together focused effort from attendees representing 45 Chapters to address business integrity. These representatives, from throughout the globe, were keen to deepen their understanding of ways of working with the business sector to address corruption and strengthen integrity systems. It was a reinvigorating experience at a time of uncertainty around the restructuring of the Secretariat and the future of the TI movement.
Siemen’s sentence for corrupt practice in 2014 included a requirement to provide funding to TI. This years was the last of three annual BIP workshops funded by this settlement. (TI's policy required due diligence to ensure that Siemen’s had stopped its corrupt practice prior to TI accepting the funding.)
At the beginning of the BIP workshop, participants were asked to group themselves on a spectrum between “All business is corrupt” and “Business can be motivated to address corruption”. Over two-thirds chose the latter.
This set the context for discussions about the information, tools and techniques required for business to be motivated to address corruption. Representatives from other low corruption countries partnered with New Zealand to describe developmental factors that contribute to strong integrity systems. They workshopped extra strategies to attract and engage businesses to become motivated to address corruption by adopting corruption-prevention processes.
TINZ led three “market place sessions” (small workshops) to gain feedback about the 2017 Financial Integrity System Assessment (FISA) methodology. FISA was listed in the BIP agenda as one of the available business integrity tools available to the TI movement.
“In the private sector, we will work with business leaders, regulators and consumers to ensure there is a clean business environment. We will demand the private sector’s accountability to the societies in which it operates, identifying and promoting best practice. We will focus on strengthening corporate anti-corruption systems and prevention mechanisms, on a country level and internationally, including in key emerging markets.
Self-regulation of the private sector is not enough. Given the legacy of the financial crisis and the scale of illicit financial flows, we will focus on strengthening the anti-corruption efforts of the institutions that shape the global financial system, from regulators to banks to investors. We will advocate for leading financial centres to stop the flow of corrupt capital and to end money laundering. We will partner with expert organisations in this field to set a financial sector reform agenda around which we will campaign. We will push specifically to close existing loopholes in laws and regulations relating to beneficial ownership, country-by-country reporting, recovery of stolen assets, the luxury goods sector and secrecy jurisdictions.
In working towards reform, we will leverage international norms and institutions. This includes drawing on global and regional conventions, such as the United Nations Convention against Corruption and the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development Anti-Bribery Convention. Our focus will be on their implementation at country level.
Participants at the workshop were keen to take the movement with them, endorsing the idea that the private sector is an important partner in the coalition against corruption, consistent with TI’s long-standing support for multi-stakeholder approaches.
Workshop participants saw that it was important for companies, just like other organisations, to be held to account for corrupt behaviour in all its forms.
The approaches discussed were In line with the specific aims of Strategy 2020, the TI movement's constitution and TI's guiding principles. These approaches were further developed through taking advantage of the movement's existing tools and indices focussed on business integrity.
Given the different cultural contexts and the local knowledge required to develop effective business partnerships, the consensus view was that each national chapter is best placed to decide how to work with the private sector within their national context, with regard at all times to protecting the wider reputation of Transparency International and supporting its fundamental Mission to promote transparency, combat corruption and bring an end to impunity.
The Workshop attendees agreed that the principles for continuing to connect and work together on business integrity were:
Business Integrity Workshop Participants Berlin 2017