Raising the Bar, a new report by the Defence and Security Programme of Transparency International UK has found that defence sector companies are upping the fight against corruption through investment in anti-corruption and ethics programmes.

At least one third of the largest defence companies are improving their anti-corruption practices following the release of the Defence Companies Anti-Corruption Index (CI) in October 2012, which found that two-thirds of the companies were not doing enough to prevent corruption. The report publicises numerous examples of good practice which, according to Mark Pyman, director at Transparency International and an author of the report, provides “a wealth of information for self-improvement” which will assist companies to improve their standards and thus prevent loss of reputation due to corruption.

One example of good practice is a company’s public reporting of its ethics and anti-corruption systems, which the study found was one of the areas that characterises the better performers. Public reporting benefits not only the company (as it signals the seriousness of the company’s commitment to anti-corruption) but also enables governments and investors to assess the risk factor when putting defence contracts to tender. However, over half of the companies assessed in the CI do not partake in such disclosure.