9 December is International Anti-Corruption Day

CRI Group is a strong supporter of International Anti-Corruption Day, 9 December 2013. This important day will mark 10 years since the United Nations first created the occasion to recognise the impact corruption has on organisations worldwide.

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The reality is that corrupt business practices can cause irreversible financial and reputational harm. And here is the scary part: even if a company is a perfect model of ethical practices from top-to-bottom, it can be at risk from unseen dangers lurking in its business associations with third-party partners, vendors or even clients.

With corruption, there is also the concern with the prevailing business “norms” within any country or region in which an organization seeks to conduct operations. While certain types of unethical practices might be illegal and rare in one country, they might be considered a “cost of doing business” in another.

Along these lines, and just in time for International Anti-Corruption Day, Transparency International released its latest Corruption Perceptions Index. The yearly study compiles and evaluates survey data to determine apparent corruption levels worldwide, country-by-country.

The index ranks nations by a 100-point scale. In this latest edition, Denmark and New Zealand topped the list as the perceived least corrupt nations on the planet. They were followed closely by Finland and Sweden (in a tie for third).

The worst? This dubious distinction, being on the wrong end of the list (and the perceived most corrupt), belongs to Somalia, Afghanistan and North Korea.

For what it's worth, the UK scored 76 out of 100, making it the 14th least-corrupt country (by perception, out of 177 total countries). The U.S. Scored 73 and finished 19th, while China and Russia ranked poorly: 80th and 127th, respectively.

The ongoing threat of corruption is why we developed our own exclusive strategy to combat it. As I discussed in my previous blog post, 3PRM™, or Third-Party Risk Management, provides a proactive approach to mitigating risks from third-party affiliations, protecting an organization from liability, brand damage and harm to business.

The key to 3PRM’s effectiveness lies with our investigators, who use all means necessary to establish the legal compliance, financial viability and integrity levels of existing and potential business partners.

On International Anti-Corruption Day, please consider that there is no easy fix for an organisation seeking to repair a damaged reputation. There are no shortcuts for recovering money lost to fraud, or settling lawsuits due to a relationship with the wrong third-party. Being proactive with third-party risk issues – and enlisting the top experts to conduct proper due diligence – is the best protection any organisation can have.