For many engaged in the ongoing fight against corruption, International Anti-Corruption Day on 9 December has marked an important fixture in the global calendar since its inception in 2003. Led by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), this year’s International Anti-Corruption Day celebrates a joint international campaign that calls for unity against corruption for development, peace and security across the world.
In celebration of International Anti-Corruption Day, ethiXbase looks back at some of the most significant anti-corruption events and developments across what has been a tumultuous 2016. Here at ethiXbase we are in unique position – daily collating bribery, corruption and compliance news from across the globe for over 45,000 of our Ethical Alliance members. With 2016 now in its final weeks, this blog post reviews our most read Ethical Alliance Daily News articles in 2016 to-date providing a valuable overview of the state of anti-corruption compliance, while highlighting key trends that continue to unite and solidify a growing global commitment to stamping out corruption.
As our most read news from 2016 reveal, there is a growing collective voice from both the private and public sector calling for changes within countries, economies and businesses to increase transparency and ethical practices. A resounding theme across these stories reinforces this, showing that businesses and individuals engaging in misconduct will not escape unscathed. 2016 has brought into the spotlight an unprecedented volume of massive corruption scandals that have engulfed corporates and countries, some still widening with the end seemingly nowhere in sight.
Spiralling into the spotlight as the most read story in 2016 was the Unaoil bribery case, deemed by many as one of the biggest alleged scandals in history plagued by ensuing investigations that are expected to continue into next year. Over the past year, joint global investigations by the US Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), UK National Crime Agency and the Australian Federal Police, and more recently, the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) only demonstrate the intensified will of authorities to come down on illicit behaviour.
Unsurprisingly, the Panama Papers leak has emerged as another ‘most read’ scandal exposing secret offshore dealings of a number of world leaders, celebrities and their family and friends. Since the scandal emerged in April, many individuals across the globe have been implicated – resulting in multiple resignations from Iceland’s Prime Minister, the head of the Chilean branch of Transparency International, Spain’s industry minister and the head of Taiwan’s top financial regulator, and has also ensnared in widespread investigations, world leaders, business leaders and tax payers from countries including Australia, Argentina, Pakistan, Mexico, Denmark, United Kingdom, Canada, India, France and more.
Another trend from this year has emerged with a growing number of corporates and organisations including Wal-Mart, Ericsson and Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) making headlines within the top 10 following allegations of corruption, proving that allegations of misconduct can hurt reputation and consequently bottom line – a price that presents a real cost to every organisation. Individuals found guilty of corruption also did not escape unpunished. Iran billionaire Babak Zanjani made the news in March when he was sentenced to death for embezzlement and “spreading corruption on earth”, a sentence that was recently upheld in December following an appeal.
Undeniably companies are increasingly being held to higher expectations when it comes to anti-corruption compliance and corporate transparency. With this, 2016 has also marked a milestone with a number of key anti-corruption guidelines made available. ISO 37001, the first international anti-bribery management systems standard, was launched in October affording organisations the option to benchmark their programs against defined anti-bribery good practice. Earlier in the year, a new OECD toolkit aimed at tackling corruption in the mining, oil and gas industries was also released for use by governments around the world. Countries the world over also continue to bolster anti-corruption efforts. In Asia, South Korea imposed its strictest ever anti-graft law which applies to around 4 million South Koreans working at 40,919 governmental and private organisations.
As countries, organisations and individuals unite and press for accountability and transparency in the fight against corruption, increasingly intolerance towards corruption seems to have become the ‘new normal’. 2016 has clearly demonstrated this trend which suggests that scandals have and will continue to unfold with some regularity, while anti-corruption efforts continue to intensify in almost every corner of the globe.
As always here at ethiXbase we encourage every professional to take a look – at the market, recent developments, your own organisation and practices and make a change to help to create the type of transparent, open and honest business environment that you and your third party business partners wish to operate in. To learn more about how we can help you to take a look at your own third party network please visit ethixbase.com/2-0/.