The perfect holiday read for the compliance professional Reply

 Book Cover10 Days of Giving

Day 5

Offer must be accepted today by midnight, 12/14.

Our ten days of giving continues today with a free copy of How to Pay a Bribe: Thinking Like a Criminal to Thwart Bribery Schemes, edited by TRACE President, Alexandra Wrage. In this eminently readable collection, anti-corruption experts guide the reader through the dark world of international bribery schemes, from Washington, D.C. to Europe and Africa and across Asia. Following the authors’ accounts of imaginative and varied schemes in which charitable contributions are tainted and fine art is used as a vehicle for passing bribes to greedy officials, this volume offers recommendations for the best practices companies can incorporate to avoid corruption as they interact with governments, intermediaries and each other in international markets.

The book is the first in a series scheduled to be published annually under the same title. TRACE invites in-house counsel and anti-bribery practitioners to not only enjoy this fascinating read full of practical insights on us, but to “join the conversation” by sharing their corruption (and compliance!) stories by writing to HowtoPayaBribe@traceinternational.org.

Receive your free copy before the holidays by writing to info@traceinternational.org today by midnight.

The holiday giving continues next week.

Happy International Anti-Corruption Day 2012! 1

Every year since 2003, when the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 58/4 designating December 9th as International Anti-Corruption Day, more countries have joined forces to raise awareness about corruption, and about the importance of international instruments such as the United Nations Convention against Corruption (“UNCAC”). As of this month, 164 nations have ratified the UNCAC, leaving only 30 to go before universal adoption.

In order to support the ratification, implementation and monitoring of the Convention, the UNCAC Coalition was formed in 2006. It is a global network of more than 350 civil society organizations, including international, regional and national groups, each of them focusing on issues that affect transparency and anti-corruption advocacy.

With the establishment of each new institution to enforce anti-corruption laws, important measures are being taken against corruption. Likewise, as companies headquartered or doing business in these countries become part of the anti-corruption business network, more progress is made. Compliance is becoming more effective, more focused, and more feasible for companies and their intermediaries.

This is a great and positive development – that countries, national institutions, state-owned enterprises, and private corporations and civil society organizations are embracing anti-corruption as a creed, and actively advocating in their communities. Of no less importance, however, is the involvement of ordinary people — of individuals who are tired of resources being sucked into the black hole of corruption, and who want to make their corner of the world a better place.

The grassroots groups formed by these individuals are a good measure of the depth and breadth of anti-corruption efforts around the world. In 2011, the upheavals in North Africa and the Middle East helped open people’s eyes about the evils of corruption. In 2012, India’s popular movement against corruption has been widely publicized. The proliferation of on-line reporting sites, beginning with India’s ipaidabribe.com, has given a voice to people all over the world who want to shed light on corruption in their countries. Anonymous reporting sites are up and running now in Pakistan, Kenya, Greece and Zimbabwe, and will soon be operating in Mongolia and the Philippines. Government agencies all over the world have set up sites, and so have businesses private businesses and universities. In some countries, special applications have been developed for cellphones so that bribe demands can be reported anywhere, any time.

With public awareness and electronic methods of increasing transparency, enforcement of national and international anti-corruption laws is also on the rise.

All of these developments point to real progress combating corruption on every continent. Today, we celebrate this progress, and vow to continue working toward clean and transparent business throughout the world.

An Overview of Turkey’s Corruption Problems – Part II Reply

Today’s post, the second in a tri-partite series about Turkey, was contributed by TRACE intern Asli Aksoylu, a Turkish attorney who recently received her LLM from Northwestern University School of Law.

Turkey - Parliament building

Ankara, Grand National Assembly Building

Turkey’s International Anti-Bribery Obligations

Turkey and International Conventions

Many countries are aligning their legislation with the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (“OECD Convention”), which sets common grounds to combat bribery at the international level; Turkey is one of these countries.

Turkey’s public sector is perceived to be the 54th most corrupt country out of 176 countries according to the Corruption Perceptions Index 2012 published by Transparency International. Even though the results of surveys seem pessimistic, Turkish authorities have taken the initiative to fight against corruption by ratifying international conventions and introducing legislative amendments in parallel with these. Most importantly, Turkey ratified OECD Convention on July 26, 2000 and the implementing legislation entered into force on January 11, 2003. Turkey was subject to Phase 2 review, which assesses whether the country implements the laws and rules of the OECD Convention and enforces them in practice. The working Group will prepare Turkey’s Phase 3 report in March 2014, to evaluate the sufficiency of Turkey’s legislative amendments as well as Turkey’s efforts enforcing the anti-bribery legislation.

Along with the OECD Convention, Turkey signed United Nations Convention against Corruption (“UN Convention”) on December 2003, which is the first global convention on corruption aiming at preventing corruption in both public and private sectors. Turkey ratified the UN Convention in November 2006.

Turkey became a member of Group of States Against Corruption (“GRECO”) upon ratifying Council of Europe’s Civil Law Convention on Corruption, which mainly provides remedies for people who suffer damage due to corruption. Turkey also ratified the Council of Europe’s Criminal Law Convention aiming to improve criminal law measures for national and international bribery offences as well as international cooperation in the prosecution of these offenses. Additionally, Turkey ratified the Council of Europe’s Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime in 2004, which aims to assist international cooperation in investigating crimes as well as seizing and confiscating the proceeds thereof.

For companies doing business in Turkey, TRACE offers due diligence reports on commercial intermediaries and model compliance policies.  TRACE members have access to the Resource Center, which contains summaries of applicable Turkish law, guidelines on gifts and hospitality, and research on corporate best practices.  For information, click here, or visit TRACEinternational.org.

Not Much Bang for Bribery Bucks Reply

Red_deer_stag_2009_denmarkA study recently published by Professors Raghavendra Rau of Cambridge University, and Aris Stouraitis and Yan Leung Cheung of Hong Kong Baptist University, debunks the myth (still apparently held by some anti-corruption skeptics) that bribes are good for business.

The research analyzed 166 documented incidents of bribery over a 36 year period, through an examination of profits gained when contracts connected with the incidents were awarded.   On the one hand, the data showed that bribes resulted in about USD 7 of benefit for every dollar paid, and thus did result in lucrative contracts being conferred.  On the other hand, the benefit derived from the corrupt payments was effaced as bribe amounts increased.   Moreover, the research showed that the “best performing” companies did not pay bribes; it was the “inefficient” companies that felt compelled to use this method to increase business.  These companies, it turns out, underperform for three years prior to receipt of the contract, and three years afterward.

The biggest bribes, to the highest ranking officials, produced by far the least profit, according to Rau.