The Serious Fraud Office, in partnership with Transparency New Zealand, have produced a 10 point checklist which may help businesses review their exposure to bribery and corruption.
As New Zealand enterprises (both large and small) expand into emerging economies, it’s important to recognise the increased risk of bribery and corruption when securing contracts and in general business dealings. Section DB 45 of the Income Tax Act 2007 prohibits deductions for bribes in most circumstances.
The following 10-point checklist may help businesses review their exposure to bribery and corruption:
1. Is a strong “zero tolerance to corruption” tone displayed at the top of the organisation (directors and senior
2. Is the group operating in any high-risk jurisdictions (see Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index) or high-risk sectors (eg, defence, oil and gas, property development, shipping)?
3. Do you have a comprehensive code of conduct which must be signed by staff and agents in all countries where the group is operating?
4. Is there a full suite of system processes and internal controls in place to support the code of conduct (in particular clear gifting/corporate hospitality/entertainment procedures, staff training and whistle-blower protection)
5. Do you have a dedicated position (eg, a compliance officer) with overall responsibility for the organisation’s anticorruption programme across all countries?
6. Are staff actually implementing the organisation’s anti-corruption policies?
7. Are staff or agents circumventing established organisational processes or arguing special cases?
8. Do employees or agents have an unusual interest in a particular contract or a specific contractor?
9. Is an employee’s lifestyle out of kilter with their known level of income?
10. Are you fully aware of the activities of your overseas staff and agents (eg, no indication of “splashing the cash” to attract business)?
To assist New Zealand businesses, Transparency New Zealand in partnership with the Serious Fraud Office and BusinessNZ has released a free online anti-corruption training module.
This free 1.5 hour online learning module provides comprehensive anti-corruption training designed by leading experts in the field, and enables organisations to provide training for their personnel. The training covers topics relevant to understanding, preventing and reporting bribery and corruption when operating within domestic as well as international markets.
For further information, we recommend you refer to the OECD’s Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions and Good Practice Guidance on Internal Controls, Ethics and Compliance.