What updates have been introduced in the ICC’s 2023 Regulations for Combating Corruption?

The ICC’s 2023 has recently unveiled its updated 2023 Regulations on Combating Corruption, establishing a fresh standard for corporate conduct in addressing integrity risks across global value chains. Regarded as a key instrument for fostering business integrity on a global scale, these new ICC Rules represent an evolution from the previous 2011 edition, aligning with contemporary standards and corporate norms. Developed under the guidance of the ICC Global Commission on Anti-corruption and Corporate Responsibility, the rules were officially launched on December 11 by ICC Chair Maria Fernanda Garza at the commencement of the UN Conference of the States Parties to UN CAC in Atlanta. This significant release coincided with the 20th anniversary of the UN Convention against Corruption, marked by the 10th Conference of States Parties (CoSP 10). This conference aims to assess the progress made in implementing the legally binding UN instrument. Prior to the launch, we engaged in a discussion with Viviane Schiavi, ICC Global Policy Lead on Anti-corruption and Corporate Responsibility, to delve into the details of the new rules and explore the role that businesses can play in the ongoing battle against corruption.

What modifications or inclusions characterize the updated ICC’s 2023 Regulations on Combating Corruption, and how do they tackle contemporary challenges in the prevention of corruption?

The ICC’s 2023 Rules on Combating Corruption introduce enhancements by strengthening provisions for reporting mechanisms, crucial in revealing and discouraging misconduct. Additionally, the updated rules underscore the importance of engaging and managing Third Parties, recognizing their potential as vulnerable points in the integrity of the supply chain. Notably, for the first time, the ICC’s 2023 Rules on Combating Corruption advocate for the promotion of Responsible Business Conduct, acknowledging the growing expectation for enterprises to actively contribute to sustainable development and to proactively address adverse impacts associated with their operations.

How can businesses take measures to eliminate corruption?

The initial step involves companies establishing a code of conduct or set of corporate rules explicitly prohibiting corrupt practices in all circumstances and manifestations. This encompasses various forms of corruption such as commercial or public bribery, extortion or solicitation, trading in influence, and the laundering of proceeds resulting from these illicit practices. The prohibition extends to both direct and indirect engagement in corrupt acts, including through the use of third parties.

Businesses should adopt a proactive and constructive approach by developing compliance programs grounded in thorough risk assessments tailored to the specific nature of their business activities. These programs aim to identify, manage, and address integrity issues. Elements of a comprehensive compliance program may include guidance on political and charitable contributions, conflicts of interest, gifts, hospitality, and other relevant areas.

How does the ICC’s 2023 contribute to shaping global anti-corruption initiatives?

For an extended period, the ICC has championed the essential role of businesses adhering to voluntarily established regulations, concurrently acknowledging the fundamental responsibilities of international organizations and national governments in combating corruption and advancing responsible business conduct. As early as 1977, the ICC set a precedent as the first business organization to issue anti-corruption rules with its ICC Rules to Combat Extortion and Bribery. Subsequently, the ICC has crafted a comprehensive set of practical rules and guidelines for responsible business conduct, all designed by and for the business community. The ICC contends that only a system free from corruption can create a fair and equitable playing field for all participants to compete.

How might the revised rules influence the day-to-day operations of businesses?

We anticipate that these updated rules will serve as a benchmark for corporate practices in effectively addressing integrity risks across global value chains. Such guidelines can prove especially valuable for SMEs without dedicated legal departments, offering clear insights into considerations and necessary measures they should implement.

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