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The role of leadership in combating corruption and bribery
Tackling business corruption requires more than just a tick-box approach.
It requires a strong culture, one that drives company towards maintaining a visible and active compliance programme at all times. Starting at the top, company leadership that demonstrates commitment to ethics and values is a critical factor in preventing and mitigating the risks associated with corruption.
Rudi Kruger, General Manager at LexisNexis Data Services said that the leadership of an organisation has the ability to inspire and bring about a positive culture by not only refusing to partake in fraudulent practices, but also by ensuring internal procedures to combat corruption are in place and continuously engaged.
What do responsible leaders do?
“Being a responsible leader means acting ethically and ensuring that business is done the right way,” said Kruger.
“The first step towards this ethical approach is by ensuring management at the highest level commit to a culture of non-acceptance themselves. This may not be easy as company leaders are often faced with challenging situations on a daily basis and have to often choose between actions that benefit the company’s profitability through devious means or miss out on these lucrative opportunities.”
However, ethical leaders are effective because they conduct themselves in a way that sets an example for others within the organisation.
Moral leaders also take responsibility by being vocal against corruption and showing support for anti-corruption laws, Kruger added.
“They also ensure that a system of robust checks and balances on inappropriate behaviour is in place to root out risks by meticulously understanding suppliers, partners, acquisition targets, contractors, resellers, grant applicants, and other associates through comprehensive due diligence,” he said.
For leaders who are yet to transform their organisational culture, Kruger said there are key steps that should be implemented toward combatting bribery and corruption. These include:
- Thoroughly understanding the companies and individuals with whom the company interacts and/or does business.
- Researching and staying up to date on key developments with respect to key clients, suppliers, contractors, or partners.
- Researching and vetting potential investment opportunities, partnerships, acquisitions, or other strategic alliances.
- Ensuring ongoing financial health of key suppliers, clients, or other entities the business relies upon.
- Avoiding legal penalties, costs, and reputational damages of being associated with unethical or criminal associates.
- Ensuring compliance with local and international anti-bribery legislation.
- Taking responsibility for complete third party due diligence from start to finish.
Assisting with the research aspect of due diligence is Lexis® Diligence, an online risk management solution from LexisNexis Data Services. Lexis Diligence is a comprehensive database of more than 40 years of global archived news and data, designed to help a company perform the necessary due diligence in the areas of risk, compliance and fraud. This makes it a valuable tool for meeting anti-bribery, corruption and anti-money laundering requirements, such as those set out in the UK Bribery Act 2010. Lexis Diligence also enables compliance officers to review data from the UK, EU, US and selected Asian jurisdictions. Assisting Lexis Diligence are Diligence Spotter and Batch NameCheck, both complementary solutions from LexisNexis Data Services that can assist with due diligence and investigations into Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Counter Terrorist Financing (CTF).
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About Rudi Kruger
Rudi Kruger is the General Manager of LexisNexis Data Services. He is responsible for African and International risk solutions. He has 11 years banking experience with strong focus on trade services, risk and compliance. He successfully completed various courses within the banking industry, as well as IOB Certificate in banking and completed a MAP program at WBS in 2014. Rudi is responsible for the execution of new business development, strategy and sustainable growth, by introducing new products offering and enhancements to the Sub Saharan African market.
About LexisNexis Legal & Professional
LexisNexis Legal & Professional is a leading global provider of legal, regulatory and business information and analytics that help customers increase productivity, improve decision-making and outcomes, and advance the rule of law around the world. As a digital pioneer, the company was the first to bring legal and business information online with its Lexis and Nexis services. LexisNexis Legal & Professional, which serves customers in more than 130 countries with 10,000 employees worldwide, is part of RELX Group, a global provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries.
About LexisNexis Data Services
A division of LexisNexis South Africa, LexisNexis Data Services assists corporate and government entities to uncover the information they require to get a complete picture of individuals, businesses and assets. Industry-leading solutions such asLexis ProcureCheck, Lexis Diligence, Lexis RefCheck and LexisWinDeed make it easier for organisations to carry out background screening, access public records and other key data sources to conduct the necessary due diligence required to protect their business and comply with local and global legislation. With the most comprehensive collection of data sources in South Africa, LexisNexis Data Services quickly and efficiently delivers specific, in-depth information to address any industry-specific need.
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