The funding was welcomed by Gretta Fenner, Managing Director of the Basel Institute, who stated: '"We're pleased to be able to continue our work promoting and facilitating anti-corruption Collective Action initiatives with the objective of assisting companies and other stakeholders in reducing corruption." The Basel Institute's International Centre for Collective Action (ICCA) acts as a facilitator to various industry groups currently engaged in developing Collective Action initiatives.
Collective Action is increasingly recognised globally as an effective tool to address governance-related problems. Many companies have set up compliance programs to prevent corruption, but are often still faced with systemic corruption and demands for bribes in some markets. In order to address these challenges and to create a level playing field, multi-stakeholder approaches led by companies as part of their programs to prevent corruption are needed.
With total funding of over US$100 million, the Siemens Integrity Initiative constitutes one element of the July 2009 settlement between Siemens and the World Bank and of the March 2013 settlement between Siemens and the European Investment Bank. Under the second round, funding applications were received from more than 180 well-known non-profit organizations from about 60 countries.
The Basel Institute on Governance, the UN Global Compact and the OECD were already the recipients of funding in 2010 under the first funding round of the Siemens Integrity Initiative. The new Siemens funding will enable the three organisations to join forces and complement previous work in their respective Collective Action fields.
Through the UN Global Compact (UNGC), the project will address the need for more global dissemination of Collective Action practices. This second phase will "accelerate the spread of practical solutions to reduce, and where possible, even eliminate corruption," said Georg Kell, outgoing Executive Director of the UN Global Compact. "Our Local Networks, operating in a total of 88 countries, have identified anti-corruption as a top priority issue in unlocking the full potential within markets to advance sustainable development. This joint project will energize efforts and we hope that Collective Action will make a real difference in key markets."
These activities and developments will be further coordinated and disseminated through the B20 Collective Action Hub.
Nicola Bonucci, Director for Legal Affairs at the OECD stated: "Partnering with the Basel Institute will enable us to make progress on addressing bribery solicitation issues in a number of countries through the High Level Reporting Mechanism, which is exciting great interest as an effective Collective Action tool."
"We view the B20 Collective Action Hub as a significant ground-breaking initiative that will become a formidable force in the fight against global corruption. Only an alliance of all actors can jointly approach this issue and find long-term solutions. Fighting corruption is not a sprint, it is a marathon, but we encourage you to join our global activities," explained Sabine Zindera, Head of the Siemens Integrity Initiative and Vice President Legal and Compliance, Siemens AG.
The Basel Institute and its partners are grateful for this support and look forward to continuing to promote and employ anti-corruption Collective Action as an effective means to fight corruption.
More information on the Siemens Integrity Initiative is available at: www.siemens.com/integrity-initiative
Background information on the B20 Task Force on Transparency and Anti-corruption is available at: http://b20turkey.org/