A New Anti-Corruption Tool for In-House Counsel

by Marie Rodriguez

A couple of years ago when Gonzalo Guzman changed into running as an anti-corruption in-house recommend for GlaxoSmithKline, the company blanketed in its compliance protocol that general managers in each country ask personnel to apply government services online if viable, as opposed to engaging in person.
Employees and the British company cherished the idea, Guzman recounted, as it supposed fewer face-to-face conferences over visas, customs, taxes, licenses or other objects in which a government reputable ought to demand a bribe.

GlaxoSmithKline funded a observe with the aid of the Basel Institute on Governance, on the University of Basel in Switzerland, which pronounced on a causal hyperlink between using e-authorities offerings and decreasing corruption. Then Guzman cited the coverage at a 2018 TRACE International convention, in which in-residence counsel are always seeking out new ways to fight bribery.

“Something turned into still missing,” Guzman recalled. “There changed into no catalog or easy way to discover e-authorities offerings across nations. Each employee just had to look for them every time.”

TRACE president Alexandra Wrage and her personnel jumped at the idea of cataloging e-authorities services around the arena.

Wrage stated the venture took over 9 months to complete, with staffer Mike Juan in Manila running complete time supported via other individuals in the Annapolis, Maryland, headquarters as wished.
“In some cases—and Hong Kong stands out right here—we reached out to the accountable birthday party and they have been highly helpful in directing us to all e-authorities options,” she said. “In most cases, but, it became a painstaking method of searching authorities web sites, u. S .-by way of-u. S. And then authorities service-by way of-authorities provider.”

Sometimes, she said, it took up to a week to complete a single u. S.

The end result got here in February while TRACE announced the launch of its new online device: the TRACE e-Gov Portal. It is the first comprehensive collection of over 15,000 hyperlinks to e-government offerings in ninety-plus countries.

The website online is divided into classes, which include procurement, customs, travel and such, and the layout permits for the addition of recent hyperlinks as more nations come on board with virtual offerings. “We’re relying on the worldwide enterprise and compliance groups, in addition to man or woman governments, to assist us to amplify and keep this public database,” Wrage stated.

But one of the excellent features is that TRACE opened the website online to the general public, so any organization, regulation firm or person can use it.

Wrage, a frequent worldwide traveler in her task, immediately saw the price. “Imagine arriving past due at night time inside the in large part closed airport of a difficult country and going through a single immigration officer,” she stated.

Wrage persevered, “You’ve been advised that visas are available upon arrival, however, the ‘policies’ have all at once shifted and the officer begins referring to greater charges for past due processing … [and] he’s intimating he’ll just pass home.” With e-authorities, she said, “You can go online, normally simply 24 hours before your arrival in a country, add the asked information and the visa is delivered by means of email to be published out or even scanned at immigration upon arrival.”

Guzman, who eight months in the past joined Netherlands-based totally Unilever as wellknown counsel for anti-corruption and third-celebration compliance in Latin America, said he has begun introducing the coverage there.

Maria Arbona, the Philadelphia-based manager of governance, external engagement, anti-bribery and corruption for GlaxoSmithKline, stated she welcomed the portal. Arbona stated the business enterprise is exploring how it is able to first-rate “proportion this new resource with the business.”

She delivered, “I changed into endorsed to look the release of TRACE’s e-Gov Portal and do not forget it a superb subsequent step in the usage of e-government solutions to lessen corruption.”

Another in-residence recommend agreed. Jonathan Drimmer, deputy preferred suggest and chief compliance officer of Toronto-primarily based Barrick Gold Corp., stated he also is “trying to become aware of methods to integrate it into our compliance program. We haven’t used it yet, but are inside the process of figuring out how.”

Drimmer referred to as the portal “an exceptional initiative, and a concept for which I am relatively supportive.”

As for Wrage, she knew she becomes on to something desirable “after I started out listening to human beings praise site visitors cameras. As vilified as the ones little devices are, in countries with excessive ranges of police corruption, receiving and paying your ticket via mail is widely favored to a clumsy, in all likelihood dangerous, trade with a police officer at the facet of a darkish, remoted avenue.”

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