On June 6, 2022, members of the Business Integrity Club participated in an online meeting with representatives of TI-United Kingdom and TI-Romania and discussed possible tools for companies and how can adopt business integrity standards to reduce the risk of corruption while building customer and public trust in their work.
TI-United Kingdom representatives presented a study that helps companies to fill gaps in internal rules and procedures that companies might have. When asked how a company can publish more information about its organizational structure, speakers acknowledged that the question and transparency of organizational structure is viewed very differently in different regions and depends on how big the organizations are. A key point is that once the customer or client start asking questions, companies start to think differently about how they are structured.
The businesses should publicly demonstrate a top-level commitment to anti-corruption, which includes management and the board of directors, as well as evidence that the company’s CEO is accountable for the company’s anti-corruption and anti-bribery programs , and that it promotes tools to protect whistleblowers, even when it could cost them their business.
Due diligence is most effective when the company has an anti-corruption program that includes due diligence. As part of the anti-corruption program, the company should establish risk-based due diligence policies and procedures or obtain external expertise to improve the process. Effective due diligence requires that responsibilities and reporting opportunities are clearly allocated, with good communication and coordination built into the due diligence process from the beginning.
Mr. Victor Alistar from TI-Romania presented a guide they prepared for Romanian companies, which includes topics such as: analysis of the values and priorities included in the built or absent infrastructure of the Romanian business, the presence or absence of practices in the organizational structure of a business organizations, the specific legislative framework that can be applied at the national level, as well as decisions and recommendations from Transparency International Romania.
At the end of the meeting, the participants united around the idea that business integrity should not just be part of the company’s vision, but that a culture, systems, and tools for integrity should be created and maintained at every level of the company, as well as the opportunity for the employees of the companies to implement and associate with these tools.