Deloitte Bribery and Corruption Survey 2015 Australia and New Zealand
Separate the wheat from the chaff
In a first of its kind, Deloitte surveyed Australian and New Zealand organisations on offshore bribery and corruption risk in 2012. We identified a range of themes around exposure, enforcement and accountability and highlighted the fact that Australian and New Zealand organisations were encountering bribery and corruption incidents and challenges which many were ill-equipped to identify, manage and, most importantly, prevent.
Late last year, we launched our second survey, and this new report provides an essential follow up on the significant risks presented by this complex issue. We again focus on risks related to overseas investments and operations but, given recent high profile domestic corruption incidents in both Australia and New Zealand, we also look at risks from a domestic perspective.
Bribery and corruption is much more than a one dimensional compliance issue. The damage an incident can cause to an organisation – via traditional and social media channels, to reputation, and even bottom line – is generally understood, although not always well managed.
But there is also a much more insidious issue to consider – bribery and corruption is a truly malevolent force that can deeply affect countries, communities and individuals where it has been allowed to take hold.
This, if nothing else, should be a key driver for any responsible organisation wanting to create a commercial world in which doing the right thing and considering the greater good are central to the way they do business.
We have been investigating corruption and fraud for nearly 25 years, and have worked with many organisations across the industry spectrum to help them enhance the controls and processes needed to manage the risk of someone doing the wrong thing and, where needed, dealing with the repercussions. While we have seen many organisations take a robust approach to mitigating this risk, we have unfortunately not seen any tangible decrease in levels of corruption, or any major shifts in attitudes towards it, especially in jurisdictions where corruption has taken hold.
Many organisations we work with report similar accounts of the challenges they face in terms of managing corruption risk and turning compliance requirements into workable operational reality. We are often asked: ‘So how much is enough, and how do I approach it?’
The key is to separate the wheat from the chaff. Every organisation needs to understand where it will get most return on its investment and minimise waste on issues of low priority. And the first step in achieving this is to understand and assess the risks.