Time for a check-up – Bribery and Corruption in New Zealand and Australia

Forensic Focus - February 2015

In 2012, Deloitte undertook an inaugural survey looking at Bribery & Corruption experiences in Australia and New Zealand. Whilst we were aware that historically bribery and corruption has not been high on the risk agenda in our part of the world, the same could not be said elsewhere. We wanted to better understand why this was the case and what types of organisations were actually encountering bribery and corruption incidents. We were also interested to find out what challenges businesses encountered to identify, manage and prevent this global problem.

We have just completed an update of this work, the results of which will be shared with you in March. Before the results come out, here is a recap of what we began to see back in 2012:

  • Around one third of organisations surveyed had operations in what would be described as “higher risk jurisdictions”;
  • Of those that had operations in these areas, around one in five had actually experienced an incident in the last five years (in fact 61% had experienced an incident in the last 12 months alone). Key industries impacted were Energy & Resources; Manufacturing & Engineering and Financial Services;
  • Only 25% of organisations with offshore operations had a comprehensive understanding of the local legislation in the area they operated and nearly two thirds of those interviewed had not conducted any form of bribery and corruption risk perspective;
  • Despite the increasing incidence of events, around 80% of organisations surveyed still did not regard bribery and corruption as one of their top five business risks (local risks in a country were considered more important).

In 2012, we noted a degree of acceptance that bribery and corruption was an emerging problem that would ultimately impact New Zealand and Australian businesses, but it wasn’t yet a significant risk. Perhaps part of this was, given the perception of New Zealand and Australia as having low levels of bribery and corruption, not many businesses would actually recognise the red flags or warning signs, if it was occurring.

It will be intriguing to see what has changed since 2012.

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