Business Principles for Countering Bribery

The Business Principles for Countering Bribery were originally developed through an extensive multi-stakeholder process involving companies, non-governmental organisations and trade unions as a tool to assist enterprises to develop effective approaches to countering bribery in all of their activities.

Enterprises should implement anti-bribery programmes both as an expression of core values of integrity and responsibility, but also to counter the risk of bribery. Risk will vary across different industries and specific companies, but no enterprise can be sure that that it will be free of risk. An effective anti-bribery programme strengthens reputation, builds the respect of employees, raises credibility with key stakeholders and supports an enterprise’s commitment to corporate responsibility.

The Business Principles represent a good practice model for corporate anti-bribery policies and programmes. They apply both to bribery of public officials and to private-to-private transactions. The purpose of the Business Principles is to provide practical anti-bribery guidelines for all enterprises to help create a more level playing field. TI has prepared a Guidance Document2, which provides the rationale for the provisions of the Business Principles, some advice for implementation and detailed discussion and information on key topics.

The Business Principles were originally published in 2003. The 2009 edition is a light revision intended to accommodate developments in good practice in a few key areas and where appropriate, to align the Business Principles to other leading anti-bribery codes, such as the ICC Rules of Conduct and the PACI Principles for Countering Bribery. The most substantive changes are in the expanded clauses on joint ventures and consortia. Growing expectations for reporting and greater credibility are reflected in this new edition through greater emphasis on public reporting on anti-bribery systems and the introduction of a section on external assurance of anti-bribery programmes.

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