Business Roundtable Discussion for the Promoting Integrity and Accountability in Business Project
On June 24, 2010, the Hills Program on Governance conducted a roundtable discussion at the Manila Peninsula Hotel for a select group of business leaders to discuss the role of business in reducing corruption in the Philippines. Mr. Michael J. Hershman, CEO of Fairfax Group and co-founder of Transparency International, gave a presentation on collective action and facilitated the discussion. The participants agreed on a number of recommendations on anti-corruption measures for both the government and the private sector. These recommendations include:
For the private sector :
- Companies to require their suppliers to enter into integrity pacts, but “Filipinize” them.
- Companies to encourage their suppliers to adopt codes of conduct.
- Engage NGOs and civic / professional organizations to provide technical assistance to SMEs in areas such as law and accounting.
- Conduct media/public relation campaigns for the anti-corruption advocacy.
- NGOs such as Coalition Against Corruption to further participate in the procurement, bids and awards committees in various government departments.
For the government:
- Study Executive Orders and other laws with the objective of eliminating those that hinder the prosecution of corrupt public officials and employees.
- Issue an Executive Order requiring all suppliers to government agencies, to sign integrity pacts. One of the elements of the Integrity Pact should include: all companies are required to disclose who their agents are and the terms and conditions of their employment (i.e. incentive clause, etc).
- Use independent commissions to study previous instances of corruption for prosecution. The President should not get involved in the day-to-day business of investigating.
- Have a fair and efficient judiciary to implement proper and firm sanctions and penalties.
- The President should institute wide-ranging changes in the way government behaves; building in place new anti-corruption institutions whether they be: independent commissions against corruption, regulations against agents for middlemen, changes in procurement or a new e-procurement philosophy. He should focus on development and let the professionals search and recover stolen assets.
- Develop value formation and education in schools to instill integrity, honesty and accountability.
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