Corruption and the bottom line - how to play the game (how to stay in the game)

This page in:

Alexis Sampson and Michael Jarvis report on the topic of corruption from the second day of the World Bank's International Business Forum (IBF):

Can being tough on corruption benefit firms? Should firms actively pursue zero tolerance of bribery or corruption? "Absolutely," agreed expert panelists in an animated discussion yesterday at the IBF about the viability of businesses setting their own standards for corruption. In a strong assertion from a leading company in the notoriously corruption-ridden construction sector, Alberto de Armas of CEMEX said, "transparency leads to good practices, and good practices lead to less corruption," in his argument for the validity of diligent anti-corruption initiatives within a company.

Jacqui Beckett of Newmont Mining urged a focus "on the long term bottom line and away from instant gratification" geared to the next quarterly results. Improper practices might help the latter but the nature of the relationships created on the ground will undermine the former.

What of the laggards? Nancy Boswell of Transparency International USA warned that they must be "part of the solution…or not get to play the game." To enhance incentives for good behavior and ensure the costs of bribery are felt, corruption expert Daniel Kaufmann, speaking on behalf of the World Bank Institute, emphasized the importance of effective third party monitoring, better use of data, and greater transparency.

Peter Eigen, Chair of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, linked these needs with the call for better triangulation between business, government and civil society. All have a role to play to help build on the positive signs of a growing willingness to tackle corruption.

More live updates will be posted soon.

Join the Conversation

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly
Remaining characters: 1000