Bribery Prevention Network launches in Australia to protect business community

Posted on October 21, 2020

Australia’s top ASX-listed companies, government organisations and civil society organisations have joined forces to launch the country’s Bribery Prevention Network, aimed at supporting businesses to prevent, detect and address bribery and corruption.

The Bribery Prevention Network brings together business, civil society, academic institutions, and government. Hosted by Global Compact Network Australia (GCNA) – the local network of the United Nations Global Compact, the Bribery Prevention Network – and curated by Australia’s leading anti-bribery experts, the network offers a free online portal of accessible, relevant and reliable resources for Australian companies to help them manage bribery and corruption risks in domestic and international markets.

Knowing how to address bribery and corruption risks while succeeding in business can be challenging, particularly for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Specifically, when entering international markets, Australian companies are faced with a myriad of bribery and corruption laws that can sit in contrast to local customs, expectations, and competitive pressure to bribe.

Executive Director of the GCNA, Kylie Porter says, “We know that corruption is a significant obstacle to economic and social development globally, and disproportionately affects poor communities. Businesses must act responsibly and set a positive example in society. The Bribery Prevention Network assists businesses to detect, prevent and address bribery and corruption. In doing so, businesses can reduce the risk of facing high ethical and operational risks and associated costs, whilst protecting their own business, the interests of their stakeholders and society as a whole.”

Members of the network include Australian Federal Police (AFP), Attorney-General’s Department, Transparency International Australia, BHP, Westpac, ANZ Bank, Commonwealth Bank, KPMG Australia, Allens and the Australia-Africa Minerals & Energy Group (AAMEG).

A Contributing Organisation of the Bribery Prevention Network, the AFP has 17 active investigations into foreign bribery with more than 130 pursued over the last decade. The Bribery Prevention Network will assist companies, particularly SMEs, with overcoming some of the challenges they face in actively addressing bribery and corruption risks.

AFP Superintendent, Crime Strategy, Greg Hinds says, “The Australian Government works on a number of fronts to fight bribery and corruption both in Australia and overseas; with both remaining significant threats to the global community, hindering the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS), undermining the rule of law and eroding trust between governments and citizens.”

“While there is a wealth of anti-bribery and corruption resources available globally, we understand it can be difficult to find and even harder to know what is relevant and reliable. The Bribery Prevention Network is committed to providing a central repository of trusted resources to mitigate bribery and corruption risks within businesses and their supply chains so that they operate successfully, legally and responsibly.”

Additionally, the Bribery Prevention Network offers big business the opportunity to help small business, building fair and competitive markets here and overseas for Australian providers.

Chief Compliance Officer at BHP, Tim Robinson, says, “The Bribery Prevention Network offers important support to Australian businesses to achieve best practice, and we are pleased to play our part in its development. This hub will offer Australian businesses, including those within the resources industry and supply chain, the opportunity to equip themselves with the knowledge and tools they need to protect their growth and play their part in the fight against corruption”.