Both the private and public sectors are affected by corruption. Many companies are aware of the added value of high integrity standards for their business, but do not know how to implement an effective compliance management system (CMS). That is why the Alliance for Integrity and its partners developed TheIntegrityApp, a digital tool for the self-assessment of compliance programmes.
Major corruption cases in the private sector over the past few years have shown that corruption is an issue that involves all parts of society, including small and large companies alike. As a result, the private sector has a crucial role to play in combatting corruption.
However, compliance and transparency are not only about saving the world. Compliance is a key element for business development.
High integrity standards as an important competitive advantage
Businesses with high integrity standards tend to have better financial performance than others, showcasing the link between good ethical practices and market needs.
Compliance has several benefits for companies with positive effects on
- customer acquisition and retention;
- transparency and brand reputation;
- employee attraction, retention, and engagement;
- improved productivity and overall financial performance;
- risk management and mitigation.
Compliance is not just for multinational companies
Many people tend to think that compliance is only for large companies, with many employees, high capital and a complex supply chain. This is a fallacious misconception. For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), business integrity is not a choice, but a matter of business survival and a prerequisite for growth: a strong compliance programme can be the catalyst for various business opportunities, such as doing business with governments or multinational companies.
Strengthening compliance measures with TheIntegrityApp
For many companies this dilemma sounds familiar: they understand the value of integrity for their business; however, they lack knowledge on how to develop or improve their compliance management system.
That’s where TheIntegrityApp comes into play. TheIntegrityApp is a digital tool for the self-assessment of compliance programmes which was developed by the Alliance for Integrity together with its partners to give companies and governments a helping hand in overcoming corruption and uncertainty. By answering a short questionnaire, users receive a score between 0 and 100, reflecting the strengths of the company’s compliance efforts relative to international standards and best practices.
Even if the score of the first assessment is relatively low, there is no need to bury one's head in the sand: After finalising the self-assessment, each company receives tailored access to learning materials such as podcasts, online seminars, publications and more, designed to improve the company's integrity standards. To allow for comparisons and the visualisation of improvements, the self-assessment should be repeated after a few months.
Why companies should make use of TheIntegrityApp
TheIntegrityApp is aimed at companies of all sizes and offers various benefits:
- For multinationals, the digital tool helps to train companies within the supply chain by providing a free assessment for business partners and learning material on how to improve or implement an effective compliance programme. In this way, high integrity standards can be ensured along the entire supply chain and reputational damage can be actively prevented. The app is available in several languages (English, German, Portuguese, Spanish and Bahasa Indonesia) and can therefore be used in different regions of the world.
- For SMEs, TheIntegrityApp offers a free tool that provides access to easy-to-use and practical materials explaining how to improve their compliance measures. By doing so, companies with a small budget and less resources can set up a comprehensive compliance management system and track their progress.
The tool is under constant development. Various experts from the private and public sectors as well as representatives of the civil society, are currently developing a new risk assessment feature. The new function is based on different scenarios in which a company may face corruption. The risk assessment tool will be able to measure the companies’ exposure to risk factors and the internal measures that need to be implemented to mitigate them. At the end of the assessment, users will receive a heat map and further information on how to efficiently address the identified risks.
Besides, the French language version will be launched in the framework of the Global Conference of the Alliance for Integrity that is taking place end of April. It specifically aims at companies in Francophone Africa to contribute in creating a sustainable business environment in the region.
TheIntegrityApp also provides advantages for the public sector
To achieve systemic change, the public sector must be involved in anti-corruption efforts as well. Thus, the Alliance for Integrity and its partners have adapted TheIntegrityApp for use in the public sector with almost 4,000 users. Both the Colombian Government and the General Comptroller of the Union Brazil (CGU) are actively promoting the use of TheIntegrityApp.
This article is an excerpt from the original article on the Alliance for Integrity’s Website.
The Alliance for Integrity is a business-driven, multi-stakeholder initiative seeking to strengthen corruption prevention measures in the economic system and global supply chains. As a learning and implementation network, the initiative promotes collective action by all relevant actors from the private sector, the public sector and civil society. The Alliance for Integrity is currently active in 14 countries worldwide. Key activities include awareness raising, building compliance capacities among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and improving the framework conditions for investments through public-private dialogues. Solutions successfully tested in one country are replicated in other regions and fed into the global political discourse.