Prediction for 2010: Anti-corruption enforcement will increase

I’ve been blogging on the risks of not taking anti-corruption seriously for a while.

And I’ve been trying to get other publications, such as the Economist, interested in it too, which works sometimes.

This is for a few reasons. Firstly, EU states are slowly getting their act together and implementing the OECD Convention on Bribery.

Secondly, as a reaction to that, Ethical Corporation has been holding conferences on the topic and publishing reports such as this, and this.

Our report series has also covered corruption in China in detail. The website for the report is here.

These have increased my knowledge of just how important the issue is to business.

And thirdly and most significantly, the risks to companies are increasing from the one country that actively enforces anti-corruption and bribery laws, the USA.

Here’s some examples from the Wall Street Journal and from Financial Fraud Law if you need convincing.

The Department of Justice’s “headcount for indicted individuals is now at 19 for the year — more than for any previous year”, according to the WSJ, which previously reported that enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is set to increase.

Meanwhile FinancialFraudlaw.com reports that: “Assistant U.S. Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer told the 22nd National Forum on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act that 2009 “was probably the most dynamic single year in the more than 30 years since the FCPA was enacted.” Breuer noted that there has been a “record number of trials, a record number of individuals charged with FCPA violations, and record corporate fines, including $1.6 billion in global penalties in the Siemens matter and $579 million in penalties in Halliburton/KBR.””

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