Resource Guide on State Measures for Strengthening Business Integrity

The publication “A Resource Guide on State Measures for Strengthening Business Integrity” was jointly developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Global Compact (UN Global Compact) based on a publication developed by UNODC in 2013 and has been launched at the 2024 OECD Global Anti-Corruption & Integrity Forum.
The Guide has been prepared in furtherance of the resolution 10/12, entitled “Providing incentives for the private sector to adopt integrity measures to prevent and combat corruption”, which was adopted by the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption at its tenth session in December 2023.

The updated Guide highlights:

  • The new anti-corruption landscape where a collaborative approach across the private and public sectors and other relevant stakeholders is progressively becoming the new norm for developing business integrity policies.
  • Latest international standards, including the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (OECD Anti-Bribery Convention) and its related instrument the 2021 OECD Anti-bribery Recommendation, which encourages governments to provide incentives for corporate anti-corruption compliance – both in the context of law enforcement and public advantages, to provide both ‘carrots’ and ‘sticks’ in combatting corruption.
  • How governments are increasingly using incentives as a powerful tool to foster effective anti-corruption compliance, rewarding businesses for complying with anti-corruption standards and for voluntarily adopting ethical practices that go beyond the minimum legal requirements. Promoting business integrity requires finding the right mix of sanctions and incentives, as sanctions alone do not result in best outcomes for reducing corruption in the private sector.
  • The importance for governments to invest the required resources and build the expertise to carry out the necessary evaluations of corporate anti-corruption programmes.

The Guide also attempts to steer States and the private sector away from common pitfalls:

  1. There is no one-size fits all solution that applies across countries. With case studies from different countries, the guide illustrates various approaches for seeking the right balance between sanctions and incentives in different contexts.
  2. Incentives should not be seen as a magic tool. When incentives are not adequately applied, they distort the level playing field. When governments do not have the capacities to assess whether corporate anti-corruption compliance measures have teeth, they reward companies that are unworthy of it.

Published

04/2024 (4 months ago)

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