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Informing the debate

Deloitte helps drive outcomes that benefit both business and society

Deloitte actively participates in dynamic regulatory discussions around the world and is involved with policy issues its member firms believe will be positive for society as a whole.

“Have something to say.” It’s a mantra, of sorts, at Deloitte. Clients expect member firm professionals to proactively bring their informed thoughts and ideas to the table. Likewise, external stakeholders look to Deloitte leaders for opinions that help advance global regulatory and public policy environments, recognizing their views are informed by decades of experience operating in dozens of countries; influenced by the needs of member firm clients; and shaped by an understanding of ever-evolving capital markets and the entities that participate in them.

Deloitte actively participates in dynamic regulatory discussions around the world, proactively contributing to the regulatory dialogue, promoting investor confidence, and emphasizing cross-border consistency.

Given the network’s role in the proper function of capital markets, one of Deloitte’s focuses remains on audit and audit quality. The organization is making necessary investments in its member firm professionals, innovation, technology, methodology, and practices. Deloitte leaders continue to collaborate with relevant stakeholders, including regulators and policymakers, on current hot topics that include audit of the future, audit quality indicators, auditor reporting, and strengthening the role of the audit committees.

To promote more collaboration with stakeholders and reflect that the Deloitte network is a broad and deep organization with interest and specialization in a range of topics that interest policy makers, the Deloitte EU Policy Center opened its doors in January 2015 in Brussels, Belgium. The Center provides a diverse team of Deloitte professionals, representing various EU member firms, with an opportunity to contribute ideas and knowledge to some of the policy debates in Europe. “We believe Deloitte will be able to make a valuable contribution and that this will lead to increased interaction between EU policy makers and Deloitte professionals on a wide range of topics,” says Hendrik Descheemaeker, Deloitte EU Public Policy Leader and partner, Deloitte Belgium.

Deloitte member firms continue to strengthen their engagement with government and political leaders—contributing insights and experiences supporting economic success, growth, resilience, and sustainability—to help address long-term economic challenges. For example, Deloitte professionals have contributed to the development of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Corporate Governance Principles; collaborated with the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to OECD on the development of a women’s entrepreneurship report; actively contributed to a number of B20 working groups, including those of employment and anti-corruption; worked with the UK and US governments to sponsor a forum to address human trafficking; and are engaged in discussions that support a pro-growth international trade agenda fit for purpose, including via the Trade in Services Agreement negotiations.

Influencing the international trade agenda

Deloitte member firm professionals work daily to assist their clients to solve complex cross-border business issues. Equally, because of its global footprint, the Deloitte network strives to understand what it takes to operate in multiple jurisdictions. The importance of open and international markets—with a well-functioning, rules-based global trading system and continuing trade liberalization—is paramount to strong economic growth.

Currently, governments in almost every corner of the world are focused on how best to reassert an active and well-functioning trade agenda, which includes the need to agree on new rules of the road for today’s increasingly global and digital marketplace. Emerging practices can create complications for companies doing business internationally; practices the current trade rules are not able to support.

“Today’s greatest disruptions to cross-border commerce are not the traditional at-the-border set of issues for which the current trade rules are most applicable,” explains David Gruner, Manager, DTTL Public Policy. “Yes, tariffs and customs still matter, but modern trade is increasingly about how to deal with questions of regulatory discrimination, data and e-commerce, mobility of persons, and many other nontariff barrier issues.”

A key connector to all of this is through services. “There are tremendous unrealized benefits that could come from deeper and broader trade services liberalization,” Gruner says.

The Deloitte network supports trade negotiating objectives that recognize the new realities of today’s economic demands and finding positive solutions to address them, be it through the World Trade Organization multilateral system, as well as other plurilateral, regional and bilateral trade expansion initiatives—such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). The Deloitte network supports trade discussions that are working to set the conditions for an international trade agenda fit for the 21st century.

Prioritizing the prevention of human rights violations can help organizations open an important dialogue with empowered consumers, preserve the integrity of their supply chains, and protect their brand identities. To learn more, watch, “Supply unchained: Fighting supply chain labor abuse.”

Addressing human trafficking

Deloitte’s Global Migration and Border Management (GMBM) practices help clients make globally informed and locally relevant choices about border management and immigration. To support execution of these decisions, Deloitte member firms draw upon the breadth of their capabilities and deep sector knowledge to help both government and businesses tackle immigration-related challenges, which include the crime of human trafficking.

Human trafficking is the modern-day slave trade; it’s being forced to work without pay under threat of violence, and being unable to walk away. There are more slaves today than at any point in human history, with estimates ranging from 21 million to 30 million. About 5 million human trafficking victims are children.

Deloitte firms in the US and UK convened global public- and private-sector leaders to work together to address the issue of modern slavery in supply chains. In March 2015, Deloitte was a joint host of a TechCamp conference in London, bringing together participants from government, law enforcement, the private sector, and civil society to understand how their collective data can drive intelligent insights to detect slavery in corporate supply chains. The event also offered agencies, organizations, and businesses low-cost technology solutions to help them manage slavery-free supply chains.

In addition to our work on the issue, Deloitte has published thought leadership on the subject. During FY2015, a Deloitte Review piece called “Supply Unchained” offered strategies for fighting labor abuse in organizational supply chains. In addition, Deloitte US is conducting an assessment of the current and future state of the anti-slavery movement and will publish its findings in an upcoming Deloitte Insights piece that will be released jointly with the nongovernmental organization (NGO), Free the Slaves.

Support for Free the Slaves is one of two pro bono anti-human trafficking engagements in which Deloitte Consulting LLP and Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP (Deloitte US) have engaged during the past year. For FAIR Girls, Deloitte Consulting LLP provided assistance with board governance and a growth strategy that included opening the doors to the Vida Center—the first and only shelter in the Washington, D.C., area for survivors of sex trafficking.

Cooperating to curb corruption

Because the absence of corruption serves as a foundation for sustainable and inclusive growth and supports trust in business, the Deloitte network aims to raise awareness among all stakeholders—communities and their governments, member firm clients, vendors, and other organizations with which our entities do business—about the impact of corruption on society. The Deloitte network does this by taking a leadership role in influential, global forums to set the anti-corruption agenda, particularly on those topics relevant to Deloitte member firms, their clients, and all Deloitte stakeholders.

During FY2015, in an effort to develop an even stronger voice on the issue, DTTL established a working group composed of more than 20 Deloitte practitioners from across the network who are interested in the policy aspect of anti-corruption work. This policy working group is refining its policies, messaging, and stakeholder-engagement plan to make an even greater policy impact.

Deloitte leaders will continue to join forces with industry peers and key stakeholders to give voice to private-sector perspectives on corruption and push the global agenda to promote a healthier global economy. To this end, Deloitte supports the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, the U.N. Convention Against Corruption, and the WEF’s Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI).

Gender equality

Creating economic opportunity for women and underrepresented groups across all levels of the workforce by nurturing a more inclusive workforce is not only smart—different studies show companies with diverse workforces and executive boards are more innovative and financially successful—but it’s also the right thing to do. Deloitte collaborates with business, government, and society, engaging in policy discussions and initiatives to enable more women and underrepresented groups to enter the workforce, remain employed, and advance to their full personal and professional potential.

DTTL provided support to a forum and the report, “Putting ALL ideas to work: Women and entrepreneurship, exploring barriers to women’s entrepreneurship, sponsored by the Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) to the OECD. DTTL also sponsored the Women’s Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP), an organization based in Brussels, Belgium, which brings together organizations supporting women entrepreneurs and business professionals to exchange best practices and information that promotes female entrepreneurship. WEP is the first point of contact for EU policy makers—particularly Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and officials of the European Commission—who are committed to advancing this challenge.

Various initiatives also are active across Deloitte member firms. In India, for example, DTTL and Deloitte US have supported Pratham USA to open six “Achievement Centers” targeting education and training for young women. More than 1,300 young women who had previously dropped out of school have enrolled in the program since 2011. Deloitte US continued to support two centers in 2014-15 in Hyderabad that have an enrollment of more than 200 women.

Deloitte Middle East (DME) continued its “Women March” initiative, a month of firm, client, and community activities devoted to raising awareness of empowerment, investment, and acceleration of women advancement across the Middle East. DME is also active in and sits on advisory councils of NGOs mentoring professional women leaders in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries; and is a founding member of the 30% Club-GCC chapter that is leading a groundbreaking longitudinal research study on perceptions of national and expat men and women leaders toward progress of women to senior management and board-level positions.

Deloitte Germany expanded its Leader.In network activities, an initiative that consists of a series of events and the Leader.In group on LinkedIn. Leader.In aims to catalyze change by connecting participants with influential women and men who are authorities on diversity-associated topics. Leading practices are shared in an effort to continue discussions and identify an ideal framework for female leadership in business, politics, and society.

“Deloitte”, “we”, “us”, and “our” refer to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee (“DTTL”), its network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) does not provide services to clients. See additional information.

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