What is Collective Action and why is it important?
Collective action is an important tool to help the private sector take proactive steps to tackle corruption. Tackling systemic integrity challenges requires collective action, with companies joining forces and sharing information and approaches, but also engaging governments and civil society. The essence of the MACN collective action approach is that successful, lasting changes in the operating environment will take effect only if they are enabled and supported by and beneficial to key stakeholders. Through collective action, MACN members work in partnership with local authorities to develop solutions that are both beneficial to all and realistic to implement.
In MACN collective action projects, member companies unite with stakeholders including port and customs authorities, NGOs, and local governments to undertake root cause analyses and then implement a range of ’recommended actions’ that tackle corruption in ports and across the maritime supply chain.
What are the outcomes?
MACN’s collective actions have generated major outcomes, including for example: reductions in demands for facilitation payments in the Suez Canal; new regulations in Argentina that make it more difficult for officials to demand bribes (www.youtu.be/leWE3ebfuLE); and improved ease of operations in Nigerian ports, with the implementation of standardized operating procedures and grievance mechanisms.
The Seven Principles
Compliance Program RequirementsMembers should create and maintain an anti-corruption compliance program that reflects and is designed to address the risks pertinent to the company’s business.
Senior management and/or the Board of each Member should give explicit and visible support to the anti-corruption compliance program.
Members should confer responsibility for the anti-corruption compliance program on trustworthy officers who are sufficiently independent and empowered to fully implement the program.
Members should assess external and internal corruption risks on a regular basis and document their findings.
Monitoring & Internal Controls
Internal controls should be implemented to protect the integrity of financial and accounting procedures such that the company keeps fair and accurate books, records and accounts.
The program itself should be audited regularly and improved or updated as necessary.
Members should conduct risk-based due diligence on counterparties as well as in respect of the hiring and oversight of third parties and business partners. The due diligence should include an anti-bribery commitment from third parties.
Members should have clearly articulated policies and procedures that comply in full with the laws which apply to them and, as a minimum, prohibit all forms of corruption and give specific guidance on facilitation payments with the ultimate aim of their elimination.
The policies and procedures should be proportionate to the risks faced by the various parts of each Member, as well as the nature, scale and complexity of the organisation’s activities, and should apply to all employees as well as third parties that act on behalf of the Member.
Training & Communications
Members should provide employees with access to methods for asking questions and/or reporting concerns. Those asking questions or reporting concerns in good faith should be able to do so without fear of retribution.
Members should investigate credible reports of improper behavior and should implement appropriate corrective actions when necessary.
Compliance with the anti-corruption compliance program should be encouraged through incentives for proper behavior and, where necessary and appropriate, enforced through discipline for improper behavior.