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Businesses ramping up anti-graft steps globally ? US law firm

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Thu, 13 Oct 2011 11:27 GMT
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LONDON (TrustLaw) – A third of businesses carry out regular internal anti-corruption risk assessments, while about two thirds carry out formal anti-graft procedures in acquisitions and joint ventures, a survey interviewing companies globally showed on Wednesday.

U.S. law firm Kaplan & Walker and The FCPA Blog polled over 100 companies to compile ‘The Anti-Corruption Compliance Program Benchmarking Survey.’ It asked anonymous respondents 48 different questions about the nature of their anti-corruption compliance programmes.

The survey also showed three out of every eight companies conduct stand-alone anti-corruption audits, while only 4 percent said they have not appointed a senior executive to oversee their anti-corruption compliance programme.

“The results… reflect a real effort by many leading companies to operationalise anti-corruption compliance programmes,” Jeff Kaplan, one of the authors of the report told TrustLaw.

“If we had asked questions ten years ago about these and other measures addressed in the benchmarking survey, instead of the very positive results that we got, we would have been met with blank stares,” he said.

Enforcement of the U.S. anti-bribery law, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), has risen dramatically over the last decade. According to global law firm Shearman & Sterling, FCPA enforcement actions by the U.S Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission jumped from just seven in 2002 to 47 in 2010.

(Editing by Rebekah Curtis)

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