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UNODC and PWC launch global anti-corruption report

Summary

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) have launched a report entitled ‘Anti-Corruption Policies and Measures of the Fortune Global 500’ in September 2009.

In recent years, the number of companies that have committed themselves to corporate social responsibility (CSR) has increased exponentially. It has become popular to be linked to CSR, to have your own CSR policy and to advertise it in glossy annual reports. However, at the same time, as the international financial crisis has deepened, more and more corruption cases have been publicised. It seems that companies’ established CSR policies have not had the desired effect in terms of guarding against managerial misconduct.

Partly as a result of the rash of well-publicised cases, top management is now looking to apply a zero-tolerance policy towards corruption, but this initiative is hampered by the business community’s veritable maze of anti-corruption policies and enforcement mechanisms. Partnering with UNODC, PWC produced this report on a pro bono basis for the benefit of the corporate community. On the one hand, the United Nations Convention against Corruption is the main international legal instrument designed to prevent and combat corruption, both in public and private sectors. On the other hand, PWC is a world leader in external auditing, with state-of-the-art research capacity and a global network of partners.

The report – the first of its kind – attempts to take stock of companies’ efforts to abide by the UN Global Compact 10th Principle on anti-corruption and to consolidate existing knowledge on the matter. To this end, the publication provides an overview of the measures that companies listed in the 2008 Fortune Global 500 – the annual ranking of the world’s largest corporations – have adopted to combat corruption and economic crime, including extortion, bribery and other forms of fraud.

The report is an inspirational tool, not as a commentary of corporate anti-corruption performance. It is designed for companies that wish to adopt and enforce effective anti-corruption policies but may not possess the necessary ‘know-how’, or that may wish to review and enhance their existing practices.