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Partnership to combat corruption is launched

Feb 06,2020
The United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Network Korea and Korea Sustainability Investing Forum (Kosif) joined forces to launch an anticorruption project called the Business Integrity Society, the two institutions said Wednesday.

Sponsored by German conglomerate Siemens and the World Bank, the Business Integrity Project is a three-year effort to promote business transparency and create a fair market environment in Korea. Siemens’s involvement with the financial institution stems from a bribery scandal more than a decade ago, in which the company agreed to pay the World Bank $100 million to combat corruption.

“Corporate officials’ stronger focus on anticorruption is a global trend related to sustainability, driven by adoption of environmental, social and governance disclosures, as well as the Korea Stewardship Code and socially responsible public procurement,” said Kim Young-ho, chief director at Kosif. “Therefore, Korea should solidify laws and systems that allow companies to adopt stronger anticorruption business practices in a market-friendly manner.”

The Business Integrity Society is one of the projects that Siemens sponsors for its third round of anticorruption projects, in partnership with the World Bank. Some 140 proposals from 50 countries have been submitted, according to the UNGC.

Companies submit proposals to the Siemens Integrity Initiative every three years and then get picked. The Siemens Integrity Initiative has been created with funding from the World Bank.

During the first half of 2020, the project plans to introduce anticorruption policy research and hold seminars with related experts. It also plans to solicit recommendations from lawmakers about ways to improve anticorruption policies and systems in Korea.

In the latter half of the year, the Business Integrity Society project will hold forums with company CEOs and hold seminars for lower-level employees. It also plans to publish industry-specific anticorruption guide books by the end of 2020.

BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]