ICGN Anti-Corruption Guidance

New anti-corruption guidance available from ICGN

This revised and updated version of the original ICGN Anti-Corruption Guidance, published in 2009, clearly delineates between bribery and corruption.

The International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN) has invited responses from members to revisions made to its anti-corruption guidance.

According to the statement, bribery can be “more or less described in legislation”, whereas corruption is broader.

“In areas such as political lobbying and donations, for example, companies can engage in activities that are effectively corrupt, but permissible by law,” the ICGN clarified in a statement.

“This guidance explores how companies can combat corruption internally through transparency and practices.”

In its proposed revisions, the ICGN recognised the challenges that investors face in seeking that companies take a stand against corruption.

It said that the new guidance was intended to support investor engagement with companies and boards on these matters.

The UN Global Compact identifies corruption prevention as one of its 10 principles, while it is also embedded at the core of the sixteenth Sustainable Development Goals.

“Bribery and corruption present costs that are sometimes hidden, to companies, investors, markets, economies and society,” the ICGN added.

Anti-corruption is addressed by the ICGN’s Global Governance Principles it its Corporate Culture chapter, along with issues such as codes of conduct, whistle-blowing and political lobbying.

“As investors pay increasing attention to ethical, environmental and social risks, their expectations of company managers and board directors are high with regard to combatting bribery and corruption,” an ICGN spokesperson wrote.

“Among other things this calls for more investor involvement in the policy debate relating to combatting corruption in companies and how investors can use tactics, such as collective engagement, to make progress with companies in the fight against corruption.”

Comments from members will be reviewed and considered for inclusion in a revised draft that will then be submitted for Member Approval at the ICGN Annual General Meeting in Toronto on June 9, 2020.

Last Updated: 9 August 2019
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