ICC guide enlists corporates in anti-corruption fight

Global business group gifts corporates and SMEs with free handbook of compliance and due diligence advice, drawn from decades’ worth of rule-making expertise

A new, free guide from the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is encouraging corporates to do as much as they can, under their own initiative, to fend off corruption.

Covering such themes as money laundering, commercial bribery and third-party due diligence, the ICC Business Integrity Compendium is pitched as a ready reckoner that could sit on the desktops of senior figures not just in large corporations – but in SMEs, too.

Published in the run-up to International Anti-corruption Day – held on 9 December – the Compendium draws upon best practices first outlined in ICC’s Rules of Conduct to Combat Extortion and Bribery.

The ICC first published those Rules in 1977, then updated them several times over the next few decades up to 2011.

As well as recommending a series of basic policies that will support firms’ adherence to anti-corruption rules, the guide sets out some essential elements of an efficient corporate compliance programme.

It also includes a special section for SME owners.

In its introduction to the guide, the ICC explains that it has spearheaded the drive for greater integrity in business transactions, as it believes that “only a corruption-free system will enable all participants to compete on a level playing field”.

It explains: “[We have] also been a pioneer in asserting the business community’s commitment to act responsibly by taking into account human rights, social requirements and environmental considerations when conducting business.

“ICC emphasises the critical role of corporate compliance and responsibility through self-imposed rules while recognising the basic role of international organisations and national governments in the fight against corrupt practices and in favour of corporate responsibility.”

The organisation adds: “Enterprises’ compliance with strict, self-regulatory rules and precise recommendations will help them fulfil their legal obligations in a more natural, effective and sustainable manner. Businesses’ adoption and implementation of their own corporate compliance programmes is therefore strongly recommended.”

In a foreword to the guide, ICC secretary general John Danilovich writes: “The aim of this… Compendium is to provide, in a practical, easy-to-use format, all of the ICC tools that are indispensable for companies big and small, around the world, that are committed to doing business in an ethical and responsible way.

“ICC has long upheld the critical role of enterprises’ compliance with self-imposed rules, while recognising the basic responsibility of international organisations and national governments in the fight against corruption and in the promotion of responsible business conduct.”

Download the full guide here.

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