This report, which was prepared for the Knowledge, Evidence and Learning for Development (K4D) Helpdesk service of the UK Department for International Development (DFID), answers the following questions:
- What due diligence services do governments in the USA, Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany offer to companies?
- How do they work?
- What is the impact on enhancing business integrity?
This report explores the due diligence services provided to companies by governments in Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the US. Of these countries, only the US government provides due diligence services.
The US Department of Commerce, through its network of export advice centres, provides due diligence services in the form of international company profiles for some countries for a fee. The Netherlands and Germany provide online self-service tools to help businesses undertake due diligence risk assessments. The Swiss government provides general advice to businesses but this assessment was unable to find any evidence of services or online tools to help Swiss firms to undertake due diligence.
All members of the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (including Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the US) signed the OECD Anti-bribery Convention and are obliged to report on the progress that they have made in terms of implementing the OECD guidelines on bribery and corruption (Bühr & Seitz, 2015). The content of these reports indicates that implementation is gauged in terms of the number of prosecutions as well as legislative amendments which facilitate the enforcement of the laws which prohibit bribery.
Although the reports include a description of government efforts to raise awareness of the perils of bribery and corruption among the business sector, it is evident that helping firms undertake due diligence is not a priority for implementation.