New tool launched to help RESIST corruption

  • 16 March 2009

Knowing how to respond to inappropriate client demands can be challenging for company employees, especially if the demand is accompanied by a threat. But help is now at hand in the form of a practical new tool, launched today, to help business better address the risk of solicitation and extortion.

RESIST (Resisting Extortions and Solicitations in International Transactions) – jointly developed by the International Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Transparency International, the UN Global Compact and the World Economic Forum – raises employee awareness of how to prevent demands from being made, and sets out practical measures on how to respond to dilemmas in the most efficient and ethical manner when they cannot be avoided.

“In the current economic climate the temptation to take inappropriate action can be hard to resist,” said François Vincke, Chair of the ICC Commission on Anti-Corruption, which encourages business self-regulation to fight corruption. “But staving off solicitations and extortions is vital to maintaining a fair and open trading system.”

Over 20 companies and organizations contributed to make up the RESIST portfolio of 21 real-life situations. Covering a wide range of solicitation dilemmas, each scenario addresses how to prevent propositions occurring and how best to react when demands are made. In addition, RESIST provides general recommendations, which apply to most situations and can be considered good practice.

Launched today, the first part of the RESIST tool comprises seven scenarios relating to solicitation in the context of the procurement process. The second part of RESIST, focusing on project implementation, will be published by the end of the year.

Many companies are vulnerable to solicitation and extortion when going about their daily business and in an attempt to demonstrate engagement in the fight against bribery and corruption, many have implemented complex compliance programmes. But despite the negative effects on international trade and investment, solicitation in public procurement and project implementation is not addressed by a number of existing anti-bribery conventions to date.

Designed as an easy-to-use tool to help companies better address the risk of solicitation, RESIST can be used in training sessions related to ethics and integrity. Recognizing that demands may be made by a client, business partner or public authority, RESIST can help trainers stimulate open discussions on the risks employees face and the steps they can take to eradicate them.

ICC has been concerned about the effects of corruption on international trade for more than 25 years and has developed a range of tools to guide business on the issue. These include:

ICC Guidelines on Whistleblowing

Clean Business Is Good Business: The Business Case against Corruption

Fighting Corruption: International Corporate Integrity Handbook

ICC Rules of Conduct and Recommendations for Combating Extortion and Bribery