Corruption Risk Down Under

Emily Holbrook


October 11, 2012

When one thinks of bribery and corruption, Australia usually is not high on their list of countries afflicted by such unethical business behavior. But as Australia and New Zealand look towards other countries for business opportunities, they are increasingly exposing themselves to these corruption risks.

According to Deloitte’s “Bribery and Corruption Survey 2012,” 34% of organizations within the two countries have operations in high-risk jurisdictions, and 46% of businesses that have experienced foreign bribery are parties to joint ventures with offshore operations. The industries with the most known instances of bribery and corruption in offshore operations are energy and resources; manufacturing and engineering; and financial services.

Not enough is being done to stem this systemic tide of corruption, however, according to the survey. A staggering 48% of organizations with offshore operations do not have any formal policy or program in place to manage corruption risk.

“All successful companies are built on a solid foundation of values and culture,” said Frank O’Toole, partner with Deloitte Forensic Australia. So as Australia and New Zealand venture to far-off lands for new, profitable opportunities, they need to be aware that they may be putting their traditionally honest corporate culture at risk.
Emily Holbrook is the founder of Red Label Writing, LLC, a writing, editing and content strategy firm catering to insurance and risk management businesses and publications, and a former editor of Risk Management.

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