Australia’s top ASX-listed companies, among them BHP (ASX, LON, NYSE: BHP), joined government and civil society organizations such as the Australia-Africa Minerals & Energy Group in the launching of the country’s Bribery Prevention Network.
The initiative is Hosted by Global Compact Network Australia – the local network of the United Nations Global Compact – and curated by Australia’s leading anti-bribery experts. It offers a free online portal of accessible, relevant and reliable resources for Australian companies to help them manage extortion risks in domestic and international markets.
Besides top miners, members of the network include Westpac, ANZ Bank, Commonwealth Bank, KPMG Australia, Allens, the Australian Federal Police, the Attorney-General’s Department, and Transparency International Australia.
“We know that corruption is a significant obstacle to economic and social development globally, and disproportionately affects poor communities,” Kylie Porter, executive director of the Global Compact Network Australia, said in a media statement. “Businesses must act responsibly and set a positive example in society. The Bribery Prevention Network assists businesses to detect, prevent and address bribery and corruption. In doing so, businesses can reduce the risk of facing high ethical and operational risks and associated costs, whilst protecting their own business, the interests of their stakeholders and society as a whole.”
In addition to providing assistance and accurate information, the new initiative is expected to help big businesses connect to small businesses so that, together, they can build fair and competitive markets both in Australia and overseas for Australian providers.
“The Bribery Prevention Network offers important support to Australian businesses to achieve best practice, and we are pleased to play our part in its development,” BHP’s chief compliance officer, Tim Robinson, said. “This hub will offer Australian businesses, including those within the resources industry and supply chain, the opportunity to equip themselves with the knowledge and tools they need to protect their growth and play their part in the fight against corruption.”
In a similar tone, the CEO of the Minerals Council of Australia, Tania Constable, said that her organization is looking forward to working with the network to promote responsible business practices across Australia’s minerals industry whether operating within Australia or internationally.
“Bribery and corruption can also violate trust and undermine healthy relationships and mutually beneficial outcomes between communities, industry and government,” Constable said. “No country is immune from bribery and corruption and all sectors – including the minerals industry – need to remain vigilant.”