Corruption takes many forms and can pervade every human endeavour where temptation and opportunity meet. Though no enterprise or business is immune, geographic location can make a difference in the frequency or magnitude of the challenge. Companies that build an international presence through expansion, diversification, cross-border deals or involvement with emerging markets face risk.
To protect their investments, enterprises must work to promote ethical business practices across all of their operations. Their compliance programs should reflect local laws as well as regulations such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the UK Bribery Act or regulatory regimes under the treaties of the United Nations and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Reputational risk, which has grown to formidable levels, must also be thwarted: social media allows news to linger in the public eye, and bad news sells.
To control, contain and ultimately mitigate losses and protect your reputation you need to practice constant and on-going proactive vigilance. PwC believes that the best way to stem the contagion of corruption is to prepare for it: refine compliance measures; forge links with regulatory bodies and law enforcement; and strive to make your business emblematic of the integrity you seek.