Corruption initiative

01 May 2008

The World Economic Forum (Wef) held in Davos, Switzerland in January saw 62 international construction, engineering and mining companies commit to a policy to combat corruption and bribery. The approach is described as a ‘zero-tolerance’ attitude towards corruption and bribery.

The anti-corruption policy was developed by WEF's Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI) in collaboration with Transparency International, a Berlin, Germany-based non-governmental organisation that monitors and campaigns against corruption. The two central principles of the initiative are a zero-tolerance policy towards bribery and the development of a practical and effective programme to ensure this takes place.

In signing-up to the policy, the 62 companies have committed themselves to either implement anti-bribery and anti-corruption practices based on PACI's principles, or to use these as a benchmark to improve their existing programmes until they reach the level prescribed by PACI.

Jermyn Brooks, a member of Transparency International's Board of Directors said, “It is essential that signatory companies follow up their public anti-corruption statement with credible actions. Implementation is the key and so are self-monitoring processes. The engaged companies know this and recognise the importance of the challenge before them.”

European signatories were ABB, Areva, Autostrade, Biwater, Ceske Energeticke Zavody, Consolidated Contractors Company, De Beers Group, Enel, Falck Group, Georgsmarienhütte Holding, Halcrow Group, Hilti, Hochtief, Karl Steiner, Norsk Hydro, Polski Koncern Naftowy, Rio Tinto, Royal Boskalis Westminster, Schindler, Skanska, Statoil, Umicore, Vattenfall and Zumtobel.

Major contractors from North and South America also signed up to the policy, as did mining companies from Australia, Africa and the Russian Federation. The response from East Asian-based companies was more limited, with only a handful of Japanese and Korean companies appearing on the list.

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