Your ideas welcome: help us set higher standards in state-owned companies

Your ideas welcome: help us set higher standards in state-owned companies

Note: This feature was updated on 15 August 2017 as the consultation period closed.

From health care to energy production, state-owned enterprises provide some of the most vital goods and services around the world. Three of the , measured by sales, are Chinese state-owned enterprises.

These companies employ millions of people and control vital pieces of some of the world’s biggest economies, like the electricity grid, hospitals and energy imports.

Like private companies, state-owned firms also face corruption risks. But state-owned enterprises are in some ways a special case because of avenues for interference from politicians and public officials, and the potential for bribery related to lucrative public contracts, or when state assets are bought or sold.

Poorly governed state-owned enterprises can also encounter conflicts of interest among board members and managers, or when board members and employees are not selected on merit.

One only need look at the massive corruption scandal surrounding the Brazilian state-owned energy company Petrobras to see the multiple layers of corruption risk involved when billions of dollars are channelled through public agencies and services. The scandal brought down a government, implicated another 18 companies and severely tarnished the reputation of Brazil on the global stage.

How do we tackle corruption at state-owned companies?

Corruption at state-owned companies is not new, but with their increasing economic importance and global spread, innovative ways are needed to fight this scourge. For this purpose, Transparency International and a multi-stakeholder working group including state-owned enterprises have created the State-Owned Enterprises Principles for Countering Corruption.

The State-Owned Enterprises Principles draws upon Transparency International’s Business Principles for Countering Bribery. Also developed in a multi-stakeholder process and first published in 2002, these principles have become a global standard referenced in a range of other international anti-bribery initiatives as well as tools produced by Transparency International and its chapters.

Transparency International has now posted the draft State-Owned Enterprises Principles below for expert consultation. We invite everyone involved with state-owned enterprises, including directors who lead their work, academics who study them, government officials who oversee them, their customers, their employees and members of the public to consult the draft and take our survey [Editor's note: Links to the draft and survey removed on 15 Aug 2017, since the public consultation period had closed]. Please give us your feedback on how to make them better, more fit-for-purpose and ultimately, more useful.

Help us help state-owned enterprises stop corruption at the factory gate.

Image: Creative Commons,

For any press enquiries please contact [email protected]

Solicitude

Support Transparency International

Anti-Corruption Award 2018 - Nominations Open!

Our Anti-Corruption Award recognises the courage and determination of the many individuals and organisations fighting corruption around the world.

Nominate an anti-corruption hero today! 

Comment gagner la lutte contre la corruption en Afrique

Aujourd’hui est la Journée africaine de lutte contre la corruption – une occasion opportunité pour reconnaitre le progrès dans la lutte contre la corruption en Afrique et le travail significatif qui reste encore à accomplir.

How to win the fight against corruption in Africa

African Anti-Corruption Day is an important opportunity to recognise both the progress made in the fight against corruption in Africa and the significant work still left to do.

Increasing accountability and safeguarding billions in climate finance

In December 2015, governments from around the world came together to sign the Paris Agreement, agreeing to tackle climate change and keep global warming under two degrees centigrade. They committed to spend US$100 billion annually by 2020 to help developing countries reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and protect themselves against the potentially devastating effects of climate change.

After Gürtel, what next for Spain’s struggle with political corruption?

At the start of June, the Spanish parliament voted to oust Prime Minister Rajoy after his political party was embroiled in the biggest corruption scandal in Spain’s democratic history. At this critical juncture in Spain’s struggle with political corruption, Transparency International urges all parties to join forces against impunity and support anti-corruption efforts in public life.

Risk of impunity increases with outcome of Portuguese-Angolan corruption trial

A verdict last week by the Lisbon Court of Appeals in the trial of former Angolan vice president Manuel Vicente has disappointed hopes for a triumph of legal due process over politics and impunity. It also has worrying implications for the independence of Portugal’s judiciary.

The UK just made it harder for the corrupt to hide their wealth offshore

If counted together, the United Kingdom and its Overseas Territories and Crown dependencies would rank worst in the world for financial secrecy. Fortunately, this could soon change.

The new IMF anti-corruption framework: 3 things we’ll be looking for a year from now

Last Sunday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) unveiled its long-awaited framework for “enhanced” engagement with countries on corruption and governance issues. Here are three aspects we at Transparency International will be looking at closely in coming months as the new policy is rolled out.

Why rather

Follow us on Why rather