(Berlin) – As calls for corporate accountability increase, Transparency International (TI) and the United Nations Global Compact today published reporting guidance for companies committed to combating corruption.
Public reporting sends a strong signal to employees, investors and consumers, that a company is serious about clean business. The guidance, developed in the framework of the Global Compact, the world’s largest voluntary corporate citizenship initiative, equips business with a practical means to report on anti-corruption policies and actions comprehensively and effectively.
“Following the financial crisis the spotlight is on companies to prove they are responsible, accountable corporate citizens,” said Huguette Labelle, Chair, Transparency International, and Global Compact Board Member. “The Reporting Guidance helps companies to convincingly demonstrate they are fully assessing and addressing corruption risks.”
“Making a commitment to anti-corruption is only the first step,” said Georg Kell, Executive Director of the Global Compact. “The true challenge lies in implementation as well as meaningful and transparent disclosure. This much-needed guidance will be of significant help to companies seeking to assess and improve their anti-corruption performance.”
Recent TI research reveals that many leading companies make high-level, strategic commitments to prevent corruption but still have a long way to go in reporting how these commitments are integrated into their policies and activities. The new guidance aims to fill this current gap in reporting and is designed to fit the needs of all companies, from small enterprises to multi-national businesses, regardless of sector.
The guidance is the most succinct, practical guide currently available to what anti-corruption aspects companies should report on. It sets the standard for thousands of Global Compact signatories, while its use will be beneficial well beyond this network.
“The reporting guidance sets a new benchmark for reporting on anti-corruption,” said Labelle. “By following the reporting guidance, companies stand to strengthen internal anti-corruption systems through transparency, enhance their external reputation and allow progress to be measured.”
At the invitation of the Global Compact, TI chaired a taskforce consisting of businesses, NGOs and anti-corruption experts to develop the guidelines, which were successfully field tested by 19 organisations around the world. Every organisation reported that the guidelines will help them in implementing anti-corruption practices.
“This Guidance is the result of a global, multi-stakeholder endeavour to support companies in their efforts on anti-corruption reporting in the Global Compact Communication on Progress and beyond”, said Sven Biermann of Accenture, co-chair of the taskforce. “It promotes the strong benefits of reporting and provides structured and comprehensive guidance.”
Following this first introduction, the Global Compact Office will, over the coming months, work with participants and Local Networks around the world to advance adoption of the guidance into standard reporting practice. The Reporting Guidance will also be presented at the upcoming Global Compact Leaders Summit, to be held on 24-25 June 2010 in New York.
Transparency International is the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption.