Workshop 1.5

Workshop 1.5 Closing the credibility gap - external assurance of anti-bribery programmes

Stream 4 Sustainable Globalisation

Coordinator: Susan Côté-Freeman, Project Manager Private Sector, Transparency International
Date: Thursday 17:30 to 19:30
Location: MC 2

In spite of the growth in transparency and reporting by companies on their anti-bribery policies and activities stakeholders remain sceptical of company claims. External assurance will provide a means of lending credibility to corporate statements and reports on anti-bribery. The world's six leading accounting firms are working with Transparency International and the World Economic Forum's Partnering against Corruption Initiative (PACI) to develop a framework for third party assurance of anti-bribery programmes. The approach aims to bring greater credibility of corporate anti-bribery efforts assessed against managements' assertions and commitments made to voluntary anti-bribery codes. Development of an assurance framework would bring anti-bribery efforts into line with developments in assurance of sustainability and corporate social responsibility practices. In the meantime, some companies are already seeking the services of professional firms to assess their anti-corruption programmes but this remains limited and the process is not standardised. This workshop will address some of the issues and opportunities that relate to anti-bribery assurance. What assertions would be needed from management? Who would be the users of assurance results? Can anti-bribery efforts in fact be assured adequately? The speakers participating in this workshop will be experts, drawn from the accounting firms, assurance providers, assurance users, the investor community and civil society. The workshop will provide an opportunity to present and discuss the anti-bribery external assurance framework whose development is being led by Transparency International. It will also highlight the perspective of the investor community as well as that of firms already engaged in ethics anti-corruption audits and will attempt to draw from the experience of more mature assurance processes in the labour and/or environmental arenas.

Moderator: Ronald E. Berenbeim, Principal Researcher, Business Ethics, The Conference Board
Rapporteur: Birgit Errath, Consultant, Transparency International and Special Advisor, International Business Leaders Forum

Panellists:
David Jansen,
Partner, Forensic & Anticorruption Services, Pricewaterhousecoopers
Martyn Jones, National Audit Technical Partner, Deloitte

Hans Christoph Hirt, Associate Director, Hermes Equity Ownership Services
Jean-Pierre Mean, Managing Director, Ethic Intelligence Suisse