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Anti Bribery Compliance Training and Policies For Global Companies: Localize or Standardize?

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Anti Bribery Compliance Training and Policies For Global Companies: Localize or Standardize?

One of the top priorities for compliance professionals today is training their global workforces on anti corruption and anti bribery, particularly in those areas of the world in which these practices represent cultural norms. In international business, employees can find themselves in high-risk, low-integrity geographies where ethical “gray areas” add more layers of complexity that training must address. Companies must also decide whether, and how much, to localize their policies and trainings, and how much should be standardized across the company.

Watch OCEG Chair Scott Mitchell and The Network’s VP of Product Management and Corporate Development, Jimmy Lin, discuss the importance of understanding the factors that contribute to high-risk challenges in a global arena, and how to design your controls based on a segregation of duties to mediate those difficulties.


Scott Mitchell: How about in another area that just seems to keep coming up time and time again, and I think it’s because of the economic impact. There are companies that have been through a combination of fines and penalties and internal work that they’ve had to do as a consequence of this issue. Numbers as high as a billion dollars – with a B. It’s a huge number. That’s the whole area of anti corruption and anti bribery. How do you think about all of this as it applies to that area?

Jimmy Lin: I think that the challenge is back to our discussion around the extended enterprise. I think so much more of that is out of reach for a lot of organizations. While they may be getting into those markets, there is a lot of M&A activity out there that companies, whether it’s overseas buying US companies or vice-versa, we’re getting into markets that we haven’t gotten into before. We’re getting more global.

So, how do we address sort of both localization of that concept around the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and around the fact that you shouldn’t be doing certain things and these are the values that we uphold versus the in-country manager who grew up there and grew up in that culture and knows that, ‘Hey, this is how we do business here; this is how things get done,’ and trying to strike a balance. We need to show an understanding that while that may have been the case all along, this is our value from an organizational standpoint, this is what we stand for and that is not an appropriate action to take any more and you cannot do that. FCPA compliance training, or even a more general anti bribery compliance training, can really help communicate that.

So, I think trying to strike that balance between localization of your policies, and really this comes back to taking that risk-based approach, is understanding what is the risk in that area? Is it a high risk because of the culture that has been brought up there? Is this a high risk because it’s a subcontractor that you’ve never worked with and you really don’t understand? There’s a whole sort of plethora of parameters that can contribute to the fact that this is a high-risk arena and if you understand that, then you can properly deploy your policy and your training and all your other strategies. This I think really influences the entire GRC program in the sense that not only do you have to make sure that you’re protecting the organization proactively, but that you may have to build in additional points of detection for issues that might come up. You may have to take different remediation action against those problems that come up in order to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. So, you think about the design of your controls and you think about the design around segregation of duties within that country.

So, there are all those types of aspects that really need to be thought about as you’re thinking about the anti bribery compliance training and FCPA compliance training portion of it.

Next Step: Boston is Lovely in September

Don’t miss the rare opportunity to hear directly from Richard Bistrong, a former International Sales VP whose career led to five years of covert US/UK law enforcement cooperation and finally, 14 months in a federal prison camp for violating the FCPA.

The opportunity is doubly rare because Richard will discuss his views on anti bribery compliance with Robert Appleton, the former US and UN prosecutor and former Head of a Special UN Anti-Corruption Investigations Task Force, who was also responsible for starting and pursuing the investigation that (after being handed off to federal authorities) ultimately landed Richard on the DOJ’s radar and launched his five years of cooperation.

Join us on September 17th at the Wyndham Boston Beacon Hill to hear Bob’s and Richard’s candid thoughts and perspectives on why anti bribery programs fail and how anti bribery compliance must evolve to successfully combat and address the real pressures faced by front-line employees working in what Richard calls “high-risk, low-integrity environments.”

Register today and use their insights to improve the effectiveness of your anti bribery compliance program.

anti bribery compliance panel

About the Author

Paige Pulaski, Marketing Programs Coordinator. Paige assists with the coordination, communication and execution of all company campaigns and events at The Network. Aside from contributing content, Paige cares for cross-stitching, craft brews, cooking and cats.

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