Transparency International have issued the 2011 Bribe Payers Index, which ranks the likelihood of companies (from 28 leading economies) paying bribes abroad to win business. TI concludes that perceptions of the frequency of foreign bribery by country and business sector have on average seen no improvement since the last Bribe Payers Index published in 2008.

In particular the Bribe Payer Index 2011 did not reveal any major changes from the scores obtained in the last Index in 2008. The key difference was the addition of 6 new countries, Malaysia ranked 15th with a score of 7.6, Turkey ranked 19th with a score of 7.5, Saudi Arabia ranked 22nd with a score of 7.4, Argentina and UAE joint 23rd with a score of 7.3 and Indonesia ranked 25th with a score of 7.1.

The 2011 report examines different types of bribery across sectors – including, for the first time, bribery among companies (‘private-to-private’ bribery). Bribery between companies across different sectors is seen as just as common as bribery between firms and public officials.

The report also makes recommendations about the steps that both the private and public sector can make to combat bribery. Key recommendations for the private sector include:-

  • Strengthen the enforcement, monitoring and reporting of corporate anti-corruption policies and procedures, and transparency commitments:
  • Existing anti-corruption and transparency commitments should be verifiable by independent third party monitors.
  • Company reporting on anti-corruption programmes should meet international standards such as the UN Global Compact - Transparency International Reporting Guidance on the Compact’s 10th Principle (anti-corruption).
  • Full details of companies’ fields of operations should be published as well as their profit and loss accounts, with transfers made to governments and local communities reported on a country-by-country basis.
  • Policies and decisions on political contributions should be decided by the company board and in consultation with its shareholders.
  • Political contributions and lobbying should be included in corporate reporting.
  • Bribery and corruption risks must be assessed across companies’ entire supply chains.
  • Companies should undertake due diligence, as appropriate, in evaluating prospective contractors and suppliers to ensure that they have effective anti-bribery programmes.
  • Companies should make known their anti-bribery policies to contractors and suppliers and contractually require equivalent standards.
  • Companies should join and actively participate in collective anti-corruption initiatives and multi- stakeholder processes at the sectoral level.
  • Companies should empower whistleblowers who experience or witness bribery and corruption through effective whistleblower policies and procedures.