Construction companies most likely to pay bribes

By Richard High23 January 2009

Transparency International's Bribery Payers Index 2008

Transparency International's Bribery Payers Index 2008

Transparency International's latest Bribe Payers Index (BPI) shows construction companies are among the most likely to pay bribes when dealing with the public sector.They are also the most likely to exert undue influence on governments' policies, decisions and practices.

The Bribe Payers Survey, which forms the basis of the BPI ranks 22 leading international and regional exporting countries by the tendency of their companies to bribe abroad. It also looks at the likelihood of companies in 19 specific sectors to engage in bribery.

Construction companies, along with property developers, oil & gas companies, heavy manufacting and mining were seen to bribe officials most frequently. The cleanest sectors were information technology, fisheries and banking & finance.

A second sectoral ranking evaluates the likelihood of companies from the 19 sectors to engage in state capture, whereby parties attempt to wield undue influence on government rules, regulations and decision-making through private payments (bribes) to public officials.

According to the survey, which is based on interviews with senior business executives interviewed around the world, companies from Belgium and Canada are least likely to engage in bribery when operating abroad. These two countries are followed closely by the Netherlands and Switzerland. At the other end of the spectrum, respondents ranked companies from China, India, Mexico and Russia as those most likely to engage in bribery when doing business abroad.

"The BPI provides evidence that a number of companies from major exporting countries still use bribery to win business abroad, despite awareness of its damaging impact on corporate reputations and ordinary communities," said Transparency International chair, Huguette Labelle.

"The inequity and injustice that corruption causes makes it vital for governments to redouble their efforts to enforce existing laws and regulations on foreign bribery and for companies to adopt effective anti-bribery programmes. In this spirit, all major exporting countries should commit to the provisions of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Anti-Bribery Convention," she added.

About TI's BPI

Transparency International's 2008 BPI ranks 22 leading international and regional exporting countries by the tendency of their companies to bribe abroad. The combined global exports of goods and services and outflows of foreign direct investment of these 22 countries represented 75% of the world total in 2006.

The 2008 BPI is based on the responses of 2742 senior business executives from companies in 26 developed and developing countries - Argentina, Brazil, Chile, the Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, UK and US - chosen by the volume of their imports and inflows of foreign direct investment.

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