Bribery risk management: Walk the talk

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All organizations inherently face bribery risks to some degree, whether it is the organization itself or persons related to it that offer a bribe (active bribery) or when the organization or persons related to it receive or act on the expectation of receiving a bribe (passive bribery). In this respect, on December 9, 2003, the United Nations (UN) passed the Convention Against Corruption, and International Anti-Corruption Day is observed annually on that date. In addition, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was launched in 2015 during a UN summit. Target 16.5 of that agenda aimed at substantially reducing corruption and bribery in all their forms (emphasis mine).[1]

Corruption can be defined as a scheme in which an employee misuses their influence in a business transaction to gain a direct or indirect benefit, violating their duty to the employer.

Bribery is categorized as one of the corruption schemes; it is the act of offering, promising, giving, accepting, or soliciting an undue advantage of any value (monetary or not), directly or indirectly, as an inducement or reward for a person acting or refraining from acting in relation to the performance of that person’s duties.

However, the target of “substantially reducing corruption and bribery in all their forms” set in the 2030 agenda is far from being met. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners 2022 Report to the Nations, the percentage of cases involving corruption is on the rise—from 33% in 2012 to 50% in 2022—while corruption was by far the most common occupational fraud scheme around the globe.[2]

What can organizations do to address this rising risk?

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