World Bank Institute coalition launches business guide on fighting corruption



    A coalition of businesses, NGOs and international organizations led by
    the World Bank Institute (WBI) produces a practical business-oriented
    collective action guide and Web portal.

    TORONTO, June 19 /CNW/ - Recent research shows that global corruption can
add as much as 20%-25% to the costs of public procurement but many companies
are still faced with the dilemma of either paying bribes to win business or
withdrawing from high-risk markets.(*) However, practical help is now at hand.
    The World Bank Institute today released "Fighting Corruption through
Collective Action - A Guide for Business." Created to help companies fight
back against the insidious impacts of corruption, the Guide, and its companion
Web portal, outlines proven methods to fight marketplace corruption through
Collective Action between business and other stakeholders.
    Organized by the World Bank Institute, the coalition is made up of NGOs
and multilateral organizations including Grant Thornton, Siemens, United
Nations Global Compact, Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE),
Transparency International and Global Advice Network.
    "The purpose of this guide is to establish a level playing field and
assist firms who would otherwise have to abandon doing business in a corrupt
environment," says Djordjija Petkoski, Programme Leader, WBI. "It should
become a staple component of a company's approach to promoting ethics and to
managing the risk of fraud and corruption. Equally, the guide should also be
of interest to enlightened governments and other organizations which share the
goals of eliminating corruption from business dealings."
    "Being associated with bribery and other forms of corruption damages a
company's brand and reputation - Canadian companies have reason to be
concerned. There's also the fact that dealing with corruption detracts
management attention from operations. Business and compliance managers from
small and medium sized enterprises to multinational companies will find this
guide invaluable," says David Elzinga, Partner, Forensic and Investigative
Services, Grant Thornton LLP.

    Collective Action in practice

    This toolkit and interactive Web portal provide multiple options to
combat corporate corruption based on proven "how-to" examples from many
regions and sectors. Cases from Ecuador, Germany, Mexico, Pakistan and other
countries are detailed in the guide.
    The guide and Web portal will be launched at the ICC - Commercial Crime
Services annual seminar in London later today. Through the portal, the World
Bank Institute-led group will continue to support and report upon the use of
collective action going forward.

    Notes to editors:

    (*) Please consult Transparency International on the link below for
    further detail on the costs of corruption in public contracting.
    http://www.transparency.org/global_priorities/public_contracting.
    (xx) To view details on all core working group partners of the Guide and
    to consult the "Fighting Corruption Through Collective Action - A
    practical guide for Business" please consult www.fightingcorruption.org.
    (xxx) The following partners were involved in compiling the guide and web
    portal:

    The World Bank Institute: The World Bank Institute (WBI) is the capacity
building arm of the World Bank Group. Combining participatory action-oriented
learning, technical assistance, and the power of data, WBI, in collaboration
with other units in the World Bank Group, supports countries in improving
governance and controlling corruption. With regards to the private sector, WBI
facilitates the growing efforts of companies and business associations to
integrate anti-corruption measures into their corporate governance and
strategy, and engage more actively in the fight against corruption both as
advocates for good governance and through Collective approaches.

    UN Global Compact: Launched in 2000, the UN Global Compact brings
business together with UN agencies, labor, civil society and governments to
advance ten universal principles in the areas of human rights, labor,
environment and anti-corruption. Through the power of collective action, the
Global Compact seeks to mainstream these ten principles in business activities
around the world and to catalyze actions in support of broader UN goals. With
over 3,600 participating companies and hundreds of other stakeholders from
more than 20 countries, it is the world's largest voluntary corporate
citizenship initiative.

    CIPE: The Center for International Private Enterprise is a non-profit
affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and one of the four core institutes
of the National Endowment for Democracy. CIPE has supported more than 1,000
local initiatives in over 100 developing countries, involving the private
sector in policy advocacy and institutional reform, improving governance, and
building understanding of market-based democratic systems. CIPE provides
management assistance, practical experience, and financial support to local
organizations to strengthen their capacity to implement democratic and
economic reforms.

    Transparency International: Transparency International (TI) is the global
civil society organization working to combat corruption and increase
accountability in government and international business. With national
chapters in more than 90 countries, TI is widely recognized for its unique
global reach, high-level engagement with policymakers and the private sector,
practical tools and surveys, and extensive experience and credibility in
combating corruption and promoting transparency.

    Global Advice Network: Global Advice Network is an international
consultancy based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Global Advice Network is specialized
in advising on environmental and corruption issues. Global Advice Network is
the initiator and developer of the www.Business-Anti-Corruption.com portal, a
web-based tool which combines in depth country analysis with generic tools for
due diligence and integrity systems.

    Grant Thornton LLP in Canada, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton, Grant
Thornton UK LLP, and Grant Thornton LLP in the United States are all member
firms of Grant Thornton International Ltd (Grant Thornton International),
which strives to speak out on issues that matter to business and which are in
the wider public interest and to be a bold and positive leader in its chosen
markets and within the global accounting profession. Grant Thornton
International is one of the world's leading organizations of independently
owned and managed accounting and consulting firms. These firms provide
assurance, tax and specialist advisory services to privately held businesses
and public interest entities. Grant Thornton International and the member
firms are not a worldwide partnership. Services are delivered independently by
the member firms.

    Siemens AG: Siemens AG is a global powerhouse in electronics and
electrical engineering, operating in the industry, energy and healthcare
sectors. The company has around 400,000 employees working to develop and
manufacture products, design and install complex systems and projects, and
tailor a wide range of solutions for individual requirements. For over 160
years, Siemens has stood for technical achievements, innovation, quality,
reliability and internationality. In fiscal 2007, Siemens had revenue of
(euro)72.4 billion and income from continuing operations of (euro)3.9 billion
(IFRS).

    About Grant Thornton LLP in Canada

    Grant Thornton LLP is a leading Canadian accounting and advisory firm
providing audit, tax and advisory services to private and public
organizations. Together with the Quebec firm Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton
LLP, Grant Thornton has more than 3,100 people in offices across Canada. Grant
Thornton LLP is a Canadian member of Grant Thornton International Ltd, whose
member and correspondent firms operate in over 100 countries worldwide.





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For further information: Andre Singh, T (416) 369-7123


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