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A global call to fight corruption

Dr. Conchita L. Manabat“Defeating corruption—and, thus, immeasurably improving the lives of citizens—can only be achieved through reenergized collaboration between, and commitment of, leaders from both the public and private sectors. Both sectors require transparent, consistent and robust anticorruption measures, and effective internal controls that are critical to good governance and holding officials accountable. A greater focus on strong governance and compliance structures will help cultivate self-reporting cultures that empower individuals to do the right thing.” –Olivia F. Kirtley, President, International Federation of Accountants

The Organisation on Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) hosted a ministerial meeting on the Anti-Bribery Convention in Paris on  March 16. Some 42 state representatives, together with other heads of international organizations and leaders from the private sector and civil society, were in attendance.  The deliberations focused on the following:

  • Whistle-blower protection and facilitating voluntary disclosure;
  • International cooperation; and
  • Anticorruption compliance.

The OECD has a Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions and the Anti-Bribery Convention has been in place for 17 years. The Working Group has been leading the monitoring and promoting the full implementation of the Anti-Bribery Convention.

The state parties to the convention collectively reaffirmed their resolve to take on the challenge of effective enforcement of foreign bribery laws, promote the Anti-Bribery Convention’s principles in each of the represented countries, and encourage nonparties to collaborate closely with the Working Group.

The OECD initiated conference was followed by a landmark international anti-corruption summit in London on May 12, hosted by the UK Prime Minister David Cameron. A first of its kind, the summit brought together world leaders, business and civil society to tackle corruption. The discussions covered corporate secrecy, government transparency, the enforcement of international anticorruption laws and the strengthening of international institutions. Participants agreed to a package of practical steps to:

  • expose corruption so there is nowhere to hide;
  • punish the perpetrators and support those affected by corruption;
  • drive out the culture of corruption wherever it exists.

The sequence of international events highlights the need to fight corruption.

Close to home, the Filipino people gave a landslide victory to a “hardliner city mayor” to become the new president of the Republic. Most political analysts interpret the results of the recently held political exercise as the peoples’ protest vote to the status quo and a call for change—prompt actions to address crimes and corruption, the battle cry of the presumptive President.

Globally and nationally, the clamor for what is right and prompt actions to make things right has come to fore. The new order calls for stop corruption, punish the perpetrators, and assist those who suffered from corruption. Let us rally for what is right and may law and order prevail.

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Dr. Conchita L. Manabat is the president of the Development Center for Finance and a trustee of the Finex  Development & Research Foundation. A past chairman of the International Association of Financial Executives Institutes (IAFEI), she now serves as the chairman of the Advisory Council of the said organization. She is also a member of the Consultative Advisory Group of the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants. She can be reached at
clm@clmanabat.com

 

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