Day 2: Anti-Bribery Training for All Levels-Receive a Copy of TRACE’s Toxic Transactions DVD.

Offer: Toxic Transactions: Bribery, Extortion and the High Price of Bad Business Training DVD

This offer is limited to the first 10 respondents.

Day 2-TRACE Holiday Promo-DVD

Toxic Transactions: Bribery, Extortion and the High Price of Bad Business is a lively and highly informative anti-bribery training video designed for employees at all levels. In celebration of our 10 Days of Giving, TRACE is offering a FREE Toxic Transactions DVD ($650 value) to the first 10 respondents.

The DVD is approximately an hour long and features interviews with top anti-bribery experts around the world. Hosted by Alexandra Wrage, President of TRACE, this film features insight from internationally renowned anti-bribery experts including:

  • Kelly Austin, Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
  • Nicola Bonucci, Director for Legal Affairs, Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)
  • William Jacobson, Senior Vice President, Co-General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer, Weatherford International
  • Mark Mendelsohn, Former Deputy Chief, Fraud Section, Criminal Division, US Department of Justice
  • Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Managing Director, World Bank
  • Cheryl Scarboro, Former Associate Director, Division of Enforcement, US Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Peter Solmssen, Member, Managing Board and General Counsel, Siemens
  • Matt Tanzer, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Tyco
  • Martin Weinstein, Partner, Willkie Farr & Gallagher

Toxic Transactions offers invaluable insight into global anti-bribery laws and enforcement trends – critically important information for any company operating internationally, or for anyone interested in the global business environment.

To accept this offer, please write to info@traceinternational.org with your name, contact information and mailing address. This offer is limited to the first 10 respondents.

TRACE Celebrates International Anti-Corruption Day Reply

A 2007 Sri Lankan stamp commemorates International Anti-Corruption Day

A 2007 Sri Lankan stamp commemorates International Anti-Corruption Day

When the UN General Assembly came together ten years ago in New York and adopted the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), it also chose to designate December 9 as International Anti-Corruption Day to raise awareness of corruption and the worldwide struggle against it.  How far we’ve come over the last decade!

Today, UNCAC has 140 signatories and more governments are enforcing national anti-bribery laws than ever before.  Alongside increased enforcement and new laws, there has also been a sustained push to make governments themselves more transparent.  The success of open data initiatives, the increasing trend for governments to publish contracts in the extractive industry and the passage of new freedom of information laws in dozens of countries over the last few years have made government officials more accountable for their actions and created an exciting new expectation of government transparency as a political and cultural ideal.

Multinational corporations and financial institutions have also made combatting corruption a boardroom priority in their business dealings.  Today, implementation of robust anti-bribery compliance controls has become an established norm, and every year more and more companies are coming together to share best practices and benchmark strategies for better anti-bribery compliance success.

We realize of course that there is still much work to be done, and that it would be impossible to deny that corruption is endemic to many parts of the world.  We were reminded of this fact just this week by Transparency International’s latest Corruption Perception Index, in which two thirds of countries scored poorly.  From the streets of Brazil to those of Bulgaria, grassroots protests and civil unrest mark continued dissatisfaction with government corruption, which robs millions of the world’s poorest citizens of proper access to health, education and other basic government services.

Looking back at the last ten years, however, there is reason for modest optimism.  Significant improvements have come from all sides- from government, from business and from civil society.  Corruption may still be thriving, but at the very least it is more openly discussed than ever before.  December 9th marks a day to think about what’s worked, what hasn’t worked and what lessons we’ve learned over the past decade.  Hopefully in another 10 years we’ll be able to look back and once again be amazed at just how far we’ve come.

Day 1: Prepare for Brazil’s New Anti-Bribery Law with Resources from TRACE!

Offer: Brazil Country Bulletin & New Anti-Bribery Law Overview

This offer must be accepted by midnight tonight.

Day 1-TRACE Holiday Promo-Country BulletinTRACE is pleased to offer the compliance community a FREE Brazil Country Bulletin and New Anti-Bribery Law Overview prepared by our partner firm in Brazil, Vitor Costa Advogados. Country bulletins, one of the most valued features of our Member-Only Resource Center, are designed to address the questions companies should consider before working with commercial intermediaries in a particular country. Our virtual reference library contains local law resources for over 130 countries and is frequently updated by our trusted TRACE Partner Law Firms. Country Bulletins provide a comprehensive overview of local laws and anti-bribery compliance guidelines and clearly address the nuances of local laws.

As part of our 10 Days of Giving, we are pleased to offer you the country bulletin for Brazil. This comprehensive guide will help prepare you to comply with the Clean Company Law, which goes into effect January 29, 2014. Additionally, we will provide you with a memoranda from Vitor Costa Advogados explaining the details of the new law including: subjected persons, prohibited acts, sanctions, enforcement authorities and leniency agreements.

This offer may not be redeemed by service providers.

To accept this offer, please write to info@traceinternational.org prior to midnight tonight.

The Next Step to Improving Bangladesh’s Garment Industry May Lie in Curbing Corruption Reply

(David GoldmanAP)

(David GoldmanAP)

Bangladesh’s garment industry is reportedly worth $20 billion, making it the world’s second largest among exporters of textiles.  Last week, the government passed a new law to increase the minimum wage of garment workers by 77% (equivalent to roughly $68 per month).  The law is aimed at quieting some of the unrest in the industry, which attracted increased worldwide scrutiny two years ago after a factory fire in Tazreen took the lives of 117 people, mostly women and children.  An ensuing investigation found lax compliance with fire safety regulations endemic at garment factories throughout the country.  This past spring, tragedy struck again when a factory located at Rana Plaza in Dhaka collapsed, leaving over 400 garment workers dead.

Understandably, improving the safety and health of workers in the industry has become a top priority for Bangladeshi’s government.  But while increasing wages may provide temporary relief, the real problem may lie with rampant corruption among local government officials.  According to an article published last spring by the New York Times, resident businessman Sohel Rana, the owner of the Rana Plaza factories, used illegal drug money to grease the palms of political allies who gave him dubious construction permits and other licenses without insisting on the necessary safeguards.  In an article titled Deconstructing Corruption published last year by the International Bar Association’s magazine Global Insight, author Maria Shahid notes that “many state-funded construction projects are carried out by ‘construction mafias’ consisting of groups of fraudulent public officials, materials’ suppliers, politicians and construction contractors.” The practical effects can be deadly, with poorly constructed buildings and roads leading to mass deaths.

Corruption is not just endemic to the construction industry either.  According to Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer, 40% of Bangladeshis reported having paid a bribe last year, with 44% having paid a bribe for a land service, 33% for a registry or permit service and 10% for a tax service.  Seemingly simple tasks like paying bills, obtaining permits, getting electricity, or registering property in Bangladesh are often steeped in local corruption.  One report by the World Bank found that obtaining zoning clearance in Bangladesh by the books takes on average 2 to 3 months longer than if a bribe is paid.

If Bangladesh wants to truly clean up the garment industry, then, it will need to address the underlying challenge posed by corruption. More…