13 June 2011

KPMG published their report on Global Corruption last week.  The content, to a large degree, reinforces data of other surveys published recently, including the Ernst and Young fraud survey. The KPMG report uses the abbreviation AB&C, currently of little currency, but which will inevitably become a standard reference to Anti Bribery and Corruption programmes.

The purpose of the report was to measure the comparative commitment of large British and US businesses to complying with anti corruption legislation in the other’s jurisdiction.  What it found  was  ” a gaping hole in international compliance. Just 43 percent of American respondents said their programs comply with the UK Bribery Act 2010, while only 46 percent of British respondents said they were in compliance with its American counterpart, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).” There was some improvement since the 2009 survey but vulnerabilities remain.

The good news according to KPMG is “We are confident that continued attention by senior management, Boards of Directors, and other governing bodies to AB&C compliance efforts…will pay dividends in the future.”  And that view must have general application for good governance in all sectors, everywhere.  Effective  leaders set and model standards, and ensure those standards permeate and are valued throughout their organisation.  In the New Zealand State services this expectation is expressed in the “6 trust elements”

  • having standards
  • promoting those standards, -“talking the talk”
  • integrating the standards into “the way we do things around here”
  • managers modelling the standards – “walking the talk”
  • staff knowing the consequences of any breach of the standards
  • agencies taking decisive action if a breach occurs.

Maintaining standards of integrity and imbuing the spirit of service are core statutory responsibilities of chief executives.