In response to the proliferation of extraterritorial anti-corruption legislation, such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in the US and the Bribery Act in the UK, Maplecroft is launching a new series of anti-corruption briefings to help companies proactively assess and mitigate the risks of corruption throughout their supply chains, operations and investments.
Stringent legislation has increased the responsibility of multinational companies to act with integrity when operating overseas. Maplecroft’s anti-corruption briefings review the extent to which corruption is a common feature of a country’s political economy and the risk that it might compromise a company’s ability to comply with new legislation at home. The briefings also provide guidance on how business might employ comprehensive internal compliance policies and procedures as a means of mitigating the risks of operating in a corrupt environment, with no level playing field.
Maplecroft will launch the product line with an analysis of corruption in China, a country that forms a vital part of many multinational value chains. According to the briefing, China’s remarkable economic growth has increased the possibilities for businesses to find themselves complicit in accusations of corruption, particularly in supply chains. Corruption in China has also come to be seen by the government as a key challenge to social stability since it has the potential to derail China’s path of economic development. Therefore its regulation and acceptability is also fast changing.
Corruption is particularly prevalent in activities linked to government agencies, such as public procurement, where the potential for gain is often the greatest. According to research by Maplecroft, high-risk sectors include: construction, natural resources, banking and finance, and healthcare. Businesses can also be expected by public officials to pay facilitation fees in return for basic administrative services, including production licenses and customs clearance, which can increase the time and cost of doing business.
“Maplecroft advises companies operating in China to ensure they have comprehensive internal anti-corruption compliance procedures in place,” said Maplecroft chief executive officer (CEO), Professor Alyson Warhurst. “It is also important to be diligent when dealing with local business partners, suppliers and government actors. Monitoring corruption risks and government enforcement in supply chains, as well as ensuring compliance and preventative mechanisms are in place within one’s own operations, would seem prudent.”
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