Managing bribery and corruption risk is taking center stage in corporate boardrooms, becoming one of the most critical compliance challenges for employers. The World Bank estimates more than $1 trillion is paid in bribes to foreign officials each year, and global corruption increases the cost of doing business by 10-30%. A corruption scandal can destroy an organization’s reputation and result in significant fines, penalties and jail time.
Employers are also facing increasing global corruption enforcement. According to the US Department of Justice (DOJ), FCPA fines made up half of all DOJ criminal division penalties in FY 2010, totaling a record high $1B. The 2011 number is sure to be even larger as FCPA investigations are one of the highest priorities for the FBI. Adding fuel to the fire, the much talked about UK Bribery Act (UKBA) went into effect July 1, 2011. The act obviously impacts UK companies, but US companies with current or planned offices or sales activities in the UK also need to get themselves quickly up to speed on the new provisions.
With a changing legal landscape and increasingly aggressive enforcement efforts, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing more and more organizations shoring up their anti-bribery and corruption compliance and training programs.
In a recent survey of hundreds of senior legal and HR professionals conducted by ELT, 71% of employers are either already conducting or planning to implement anti-corruption training. In the coming months, that number is likely to increase – 55% of respondents indentified anti-bribery and corruption as an emerging risk area and 61% of those surveyed indicated that their organization was impacted by the now effective UK Bribery Act. The UKBA offers a complete affirmative defense for organizations that have “adequate procedures” to prevent bribery, which can include training.
For those of you looking for an anti-bribery and corruption training program, ELT has just released our Anti-Bribery & Corruption Series that includes four stand-alone courses. Created in close partnership with top legal experts, each course has been meticulously crafted to provide your employees and managers with practical guidance about the anti-corruption laws most relevant to your organization, as well as your policies, expectations and reporting procedures.
Each course in the Anti-Bribery & Corruption Series is designed to meet a specific training need – from learners in high risk positions who need detailed guidance on a particular law, to others who need more awareness-level training and guidance on how to spot and report potential violations:
- FCPA Training: Prevent FCPA violations and establish powerful legal defenses
- Global Anti-Bribery & Corruption: Raise awareness on how to spot, report and prevent corruption
- UK Bribery Act Training: Build critical defenses and meet the "adequate procedures" standard
- Third Party Anti-Corruption Compliance Training: Reduce risk by training and certifying business partners
The last thing I will say is that preventing misconduct in the area of corruption and bribery is about more than legal compliance and avoiding fines and penalties. There is a reason governments around the world are cracking down on this issue. Allowed to fester, corruption and bribery eat at the heart of democracy and erode communities. There is a true human and community-based value to preventing global corruption. It’s why I am so proud ELT has developed a truly engaging and compelling product series that is so much more than check-the-box.