The Magazine of Corporate Responsibility

Tag Archive for ‘Corruption’

Business Fraud: Culture Is the Culprit

Two leading consultants say companies must create lower risk environments for fraud. To do so, they argue, organizations first must understand their own corporate ecology — the interrelations between people and their workplace — and tailor controls to the nature of those systems.

‘Water Cooler Ethics’: A New Approach to Business Ethics Education

The way business ethics is taught must change if there is any hope of stemming the continuous abuse by corporate managers and leaders of the public trust, argues a university professor. “Educators must stop lecturing to students,who usually sit passively listening to moralizing professors, and instead encourage ethical dialogue around the ‘water cooler,’” he says.

U.S. Chamber Lobbies to Weaken Anti-Corruption Law

Even as anger over governmental corruption has exploded into protests across the Middle East, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been working to weaken the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a law that bans companies from bribing foreign officials.

New UK Bribery Law Could Have International Impact

The UK’s Bribery Act 2010, set to take effect in April, goes much further than the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which has been used aggressively by American prosecutors against multinational companies in bribery cases worldwide. Among other provisions, the new law creates a “failure to prevent bribery” offense which applies whether or not any conduct in the bribery scheme took place in the UK.

GE to Pay $23.4 Million to Settle SEC Oil-for-Food Charges

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged that from 2000 to 2003 two GE subsidiaries — along with two other subsidiaries of public companies that have since been acquired by GE — participated in a $3.6 million kickback scheme with Iraqi government agencies to win contracts to supply medical equipment and water purification equipment.

Export Credit Agencies Urged to Strengthen Anti-Bribery Rules

A Transparency International report found that while most export credit agencies have formal policies that prohibit support for bribe-tainted transactions, they do not require applicants to have management controls to deal with bribery and none have issued guidance to applicants describing elements of an appropriate anti-bribery program.

Supreme Court Ruling Narrows Honest Services Law

In a decision with far-reaching implications for the prosecution of corruption and fraud cases in the United States, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal government’s “honest services” law could be constitutionally applied only to cases involving bribery and kickbacks. The decision was a partial victory for two high-profile executives – Jeffrey Skilling, former CEO of Enron, and Conrad Black, former chairman of Hollinger International.

OECD Report Finds Countries Fail to Punish Foreign Bribery

Only about one-third of the 38 countries that have agreed to prosecute foreign bribery cases under the Organization for Economic Development’s Anti-Bribery Convention have sanctioned individuals or companies since the Convention was adopted 10 years ago, according to a report issued by the OECD.

Holder Says More Individuals to Face Bribery Charges

Attorney General Eric Holder said the prosecution of individuals “is accelerating” amidst continuing evidence of transnational bribery. “Let me be clear, prosecuting individuals is a cornerstone of our enforcement strategy because, as long as it (bribery) remains a tactic, paying large monetary penalties cannot be viewed by the business community as merely ‘the cost of doing business,’ ” he said.

U.S. Supreme Court Nears Ruling on Honest Services Law

The statute is an issue in three cases before the Supreme Court this term – involving former Enron chief executive Jeffrey Skilling, Hollinger International chairman Conrad Black and former Alaska lawmaker Bruce Weyhrauch – and it could have implications for hundreds of criminal cases involving public officials and business executives convicted or charged with fraud.