In order to promote sustainable development in nations across the globe, the United Nations identified and agreed upon a slate of 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) on 25th September 2015, with a deadline of 2030 for their attainment.
Transparency International has been closely tracking the progress that countries have been making towards meeting these ambitious targets. They’ve been paying specific attention to Goal 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions - and particularly to its component, SDG 16.5, which calls for “substantially reducing bribery and corruption by 2030”.
Transparency International is so sharply focused on the attainment of this anti-corruption component of the UN’s 16th SDG goal because they believe that it “is essential to the success of all the other goals”.
Businesses can play a substantial role in helping to make this developmental goal a reality. According to Transparency International, here are 6 ways that your company can do its part to help fight corruption and bribery worldwide:
- By being conspicuously transparent, operating with integrity and accountability in all operations
- By publicly disclosing and regularly monitoring strong anti-bribery and anti-corruption systems throughout all operations and those of subsidiaries
- By publishing financial accounts for each country of operations and publishing clearly what is paid to each government in taxes, concession fees and other contributions.This not only builds trust in the company but is also a deterrent to extortion and people can see if the money paid by business to governments is accounted for
- By listing who the real beneficial owners of their company and their subsidiaries are, and by promoting with governments the establishment of public registers of beneficial owners
- By supporting and promoting governance reforms in all state institutions at all levels including at the local level to ensure that they perform well and for the betterment of society
- By initiating and supporting collective action with civil society organisations, labour, academic institutions and governments, business can multiply the capacity for action
How Bureau van Dijk can help
As compliance professionals are all too aware, carrying out many of the 6 steps recommended by Transparency International can be extremely time-consuming and difficult. Due to the complex rules and differing standards across countries and jurisdictions, it can seem like a tough, if not impossible, task to accurately monitor all the suppliers, partners and customers (as well as associated owners and officers) that you do business with globally.
Yet, our Orbis database, which covers more than 240 million companies across every country across the world, can help you to carry out these steps quickly, easily and with a greater degree of certainty. By harnessing the rich, structured data in Orbis – including taking advantage of our extensive, treated ownership data – you’ll be able to keep track of the activities and connections of your third parties to see if they are above-board. You can rapidly discover and be transparent about, for example, the beneficial ownership details of companies you do business with.
Using Orbis, you can more efficiently and rapidly monitor business partners, suppliers and clients to make sure that you’re choosing to work with the most above-board third parties and mitigate the risk of being tainted, however tangentially, by the stain of corruption.
So, by using Orbis to help you proactively follow these 6 steps, you’ll not only be doing your part to further SDG 16.5 and champion anti-corruption, you’ll also be bolstering your company’s reputation and earning valuable public trust.