Corruption can take many forms. It is an insidious problem affecting individuals, communities, and businesses all over the world. Business associations and chambers of commerce, acting individually or in coalitions, can play an essential role in promoting integrity, good governance, and a level playing field across local, national, and international markets where their members operate. In order to play this role and deliver value to their members, business associations and chambers of commerce should commit to effective anti-corruption compliance programmes to prevent corruption in their own operations, build trust and serve as leaders of the business community, and with the goal of setting a high standard of integrity for their member enterprises to follow.
The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)’s World Chambers Federation (WCF) created these Principles to assist business associations and chambers of commerce in preventing, detecting, and mitigating corruption risks. CIPE and the ICC WCF drafted these Principles with the unique set of risks facing business organizations in mind, and with feedback from business associations, chambers of commerce, and association governance and anti-bribery experts from around the globe with an emphasis on emerging markets. The guidance provided in this publication is meant to assist business associations and chambers of commerce with compliance with these Principles and best practice rather than any particular anti-corruption law. These Principles complement the Governance Principles for Business Associations and Chambers of Commerce developed jointly by CIPE and WCF as well as the ICC Rules on Combating Corruption for Enterprises, and other guidance directed at businesses such as Transparency International’s Business Principles for Countering Bribery.
CIPE and ICC WCF are committed to promoting ethical business practices and good governance for business organizations around the world and for their members — from multi-national companies to small and medium-sized enterprises. The Principles provide guidance on business ethics and anti-corruption compliance for all business membership organizations regardless of location, size, or membership model. These Principles are applicable to business organizations such as business associations, chambers of commerce, and federations of associations operating on the international, national, regional, and local levels that serve as trade bodies that represent the collective interest of their business members, whether individual entrepreneurs, companies, or organizations. The Principles are voluntary and implementation of an association compliance program should take a risk-based approach, where policies, procedures and controls are reasonable and proportional to the corruption risks faced by a given business association.
The business community plays an important role in the fight against corruption by creating an environment intolerant of bribery and illicit activity. Complying with these Principles allows business organizations to demonstrate their commitment to integrity, promote good governance and best practices in anti-corruption compliance to their members, and maintain credibility in the fight against corruption. CIPE and ICC WCF strive to support efforts by the business community to implement effective anti-corruption measures and believe these Principles outline an effective association compliance programme for all types of business membership organizations. CIPE and ICC WCF work to provide timely and instructional tools for the business community, additional resources for combatting corruption can be found in the appendices and at www.cipe.org and www.iccwbo.org.