Britain actually performs worse than three years ago despite the implementation of the Bribery Act
Companies in the UK are no better at tackling corruption compared with three years ago despite the implementation of a major new anti-bribery law, the UK Bribery Act, new research suggested.
Companies from China and Russia are most likely to commit bribery abroad, according to the Bribe Payers Index 2011.
Global anti-corruption coalition Transparency International’s 5th version of the Bribe Payers Index ranked the world’s 28 largest economies by the likelihood of their firms to bribe abroad. The score system ranks countries on a level from 0 to 10, 0 standing for “always” and 10 for “never” committing bribery.
China and Russia scored the lowest, with 6.5 and 6.1 respectively. None of the 28 economies are completely “clean” of bribery, with the Netherlands and Switzerland scoring only 8.8 on a joint 1st rank.
Bribes to secure influence over policy, regulatory and legislative decisions are almost as likely as kickbacks between two private firms
The UK has not seen any effect of the recently implemented UK Bribery Act yet, according to the research. Britain actually moved three places down the ranking, compared with 2008, and now ranks 8th on the index.
Public projects and construction are perceived to be the sector most at risk of bribery, according to the research. Agriculture and light manufacturing were the least likely to be involved in bribery.
Bribes to secure influence over policy, regulatory and legislative decisions are almost as likely as kickbacks between two private firms, according to the study.
“Over the years we’ve always heard governments saying to us that they cannot solve this problem because it’s the companies themselves that have to. Our data clearly shows that government regulation matters a great deal, there’s no escaping from that anymore,” said Transparency International.
Britain actually moved three places down the ranking
This week’s G20 Cannes summit is expected to reveal further steps in anti-corruption measures.
“In their meeting in Cannes this week, G20 governments must tackle foreign bribery as a matter of urgency,” commented Huguette Labelle, Transparency International Chair. “New legislation in G20 countries is an opportunity to provide a fairer, more open global economy that creates the conditions for sustainable recovery and the stability of future growth.”
Companies themselves are urged to strengthen the enforcements of corporate anti-corruption procedures and to improve transparency, especially to tackle “firm-to-firm” bribery.
“[The Bribe Payers Index] tells us that so many business executives around the world know about others bribing but aren’t doing much to tell or whistleblow,” said an anonymous member of the audience at the Index’s launch yesterday. “That’s a rather disturbing piece of information.”
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