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Anti-corruption policy: experiences of a Russian IT service company
In 2018, the share of economic harm caused by corruption-related crimes in Russia was about 46 billion rubles, said Yuri Chaika, Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation, in an interview with Kommersant. He also noted in the interview that only 8.5 billion rubles were voluntarily reimbursed by corrupt officials. The most common crimes are: providing inaccurate or incomplete information about income, expenses, property and property-related liabilities, there are many incidents involving bribery and the embezzlement of assets. Despite actively combating corruption, the scale of this phenomenon is growing, not only in Russia, but all over the world.
Various preventive measures to avert economic crimes have been implemented, not just at the federal and regional levels, but particularly in companies as well. ICL Services has many years of international experience partnering with customers which shows that the use of anti-corruption measures within a company is a necessary prerequisite in a modern global market system.
Transparency and playing fair
ICL Services is one of the leading IT outsourcers in the world, so focusing on global best practices had been a key pillar in its work from day one. The company always fights openly and fairly for customers whose geographies span more than 30 countries. International practices in IT-related services have contributed to developing a unified approach for company employees to observe the anti-corruption laws of Russia and other countries where customers do business. Therefore, combating corruption has become one of the key aspects of corporate social responsibility policy.
The anti-corruption policy developed and adopted within the company contains the norms, principles, and procedures for interacting with state bodies, political parties and associations. The policy also governs the company’s charitable activities.
The experience of international colleagues in combating illegal economic activity has become the cornerstone of a zero-tolerance policy for bribery and corruption. The company’s Compliance Manager conducts supervisory activities to counteract illegal practices, and also ensures the functioning of the internal control and corruption-related risk management systems.
Fraud Prevention is the best way to protect
The level of economic crime is gaining momentum: 66% of respondents said that their companies faced various types of fraud in 2018. A PwC survey shows that company executives are increasingly paying attention to certain types of fraud like cybercrime. This is due to the fact that over the past two years, the number of companies that have developed operational plans to defend against cybercrimes has significantly increased (from 26% in 2016, to 62% in 2018). On top of that, as noted in the PwC research, the proportion of senior executives among the country’s lawbreakers is growing: in 2016, it was 15%, but increased to 39% in 2018.
The consequences of fraud are primarily measured by financial losses, but we must not forget about other losses for a business: it impacts goodwill as viewed by customers and competitors, as well as the moral and psychological climate within the organization. That is why, in its work, ICL Services adheres to the principle of the inadmissibility of corruption and necessarily includes a clause in its contracts regarding compliance with the norms of current anti-corruption legislation. After all, transparency in revealing fraud and informing the involved parties about precautions help to minimize or even eliminate the damage.
Competition as an upholder of compliance with anti-corruption legislation
Aware of all the threats that could potentially arise as a result of economic crime, ICL Services is creating a corporate culture not only among its employees, but also among its partners. As Sergei Soloviev, CEO of ICL Services, notes: «Corruption risks pose a real threat to business, so we take all kinds of response measures to prevent them. These actions are of strategic importance to us.»
To establish fair competition, the company annually conducts internal audits of suppliers with which ICL Services has the right to run its business. These audits show the level of partner’s compliance with the claimed criteria: quality-price ratio, reputation, and the ability to comply with all relevant anti-corruption legislation requirements.
15% of respondents expressed concerns about possible bribery or corruption in Russian companies in 2018, whereas this rate is just 12% in the rest of the world. As respondents say, in the future, the economic realm will become more and more challenging. Therefore, it is very important to create mechanisms to control the risks of economic crimes.
ICL Services closely monitors anti-corruption policies and business ethics. All employees undergo anti-corruption training programs, which include a required testing unit. In addition, each employee is informed about concepts like «conflict of interest.»
The ICL Services corporate portal has a tool for reporting any known or suspected economic crimes: a violation notice is sent to the responsible person — the compliance manager. At the same time, the anti-corruption policy guarantees protection for employees from possible threats and harassment. Compliance with principles of anti-corruption policy makes ICL Services a reliable partner for customers in the international and Russian IT markets.
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