Australia was ranked 13th in the transparency International’s global corruption index in the for the second year. This index evaluates the perception of corruptions that occur in public service. Major forms of corruption are related to mining industry and foreign bribery in Australia. Corruption has the potential to create catastrophic harm to the overall economic growth of the country. This essay aims to illustrate the various bribing scandals that occurred in Australia and the anti-corruption polcies and legislation that need to be enforced.
Professor AJ Brown is a member professor of the Transparency International Australia board."We have every reason to be concerned that next year, unless we start to take some concrete steps to build international confidence, then this may just have just been a little step on a continued way down," Professor Brown said (Direct quote). One of the corruption case was noted when a scandal took place where two firms owned by the Reserve Bank of Australia called the Securency and Note printing Australia were charged with the case of bribing foreign officials so that they can win back note contracts in the year 2013 (ABC News 2017) (News article). Many researchers are of the opinion that illicit flow of funds into Australia and particularly from Asia has been one of the significant problems for which proper laws need to be places with correct transparency (Watt 2015). Moreover, there are two important Australian companies who have embroiled in the different bribery scandals which reach into the offices of the presidents of Sri Lanka as well as the Republic of Congo. These organizations are believed to have been engaged in multimillion dollar contracts (ABC News 2017) (News article). It has been found that Perth based mining industry called the Sundance Resources had bribed the leaders of the Republic of Congo since they required presidential approval in 2007 as they were in need of the Africa’s most ambitious iron projects of Australia. When the Australian Federal police had conducted an investigation, it showed that a secret share of deal which had a worth of millions of dollars was brokered with the son of Congo’s despotic president namely Denis Sassou Nguesso. In this regard, the company had successfully captured the president’s support for backing up the project (Belasen and Toma 2015). Another important scandal came into news which included iconic Snowy Mountains Engineering Company (SMEC). The overseas staff of the organization has bribed the officials to secure a $2.3 million aid-funded sewerage project in the nation of Sri Lanka in the year 2011. Not only that, they developed a partnership with the Canadian company and together bribed a $ 2.2 million power plant project in the nation of Bangladesh on the year 2007 (Nick McKenzie, 2017). A deal was signed with the Sri Lankan cabinet minister called Mr. Sirisena who was given bribes from the Australian company in the form of donations for which Sirisena would approve the awarding of the dam contract to the organization (ABC News 2017) (News article). Another corruption which had shook the business world of the nation is the scandal of the head of the Primary healthcare namely Peter Gregg as well as his former employer Leighton’s Holdings and engineering group called WorsleysParsons getting involved in Bribery and corruption. Gregg was found to make a whopping payment of $ 15 million which he claimed to be a legitimate payment but could not prove it (Nick McKenzie 2017). Tabcorp had been also investigated by the Federal police as it was engaged in bribing the Cambodian prime minister when the company wanted to get gaming license in the country (Breen et al. 2017) (Academic journal).
It is seen form from the discussion that there are many organisations as well as the people who are facing the corruption on the daily basis. In most of the cases it has been seen that a company might be asked by a government official of a foreign country for payment or amount of money in order to pass a licence which will help the organisation to sell a product to consumers there. there are times when the company can only enter into a potential growth markets if they do not provide money to the official. This has been a common form of corruption in the present day and there should be proper solution for it. Effective leadership in today's environment is extremely important where the corruption is prevalent. By participating in different kinds of training activities as well as setting the organisations code of ethics, the leader can set up an example for the employees. This example would be helpful in serving as a reference point for the employees as to how they should act ethically when such a challenging situation arises. Battling corruption does not only include complying with the laws and staying out for being discussed in the headlines. The main importance of battling corruption is that it has a requirement from the leaders to demonstrate activities as well as physical commitment for dealing with the case. In order to achieve this the leaders need to be engaged with their organisations processes of anti corruption. In course of time when this process becomes outdated it is necessary for the leaders to take initiative for their improvement. The leaders should remember that they would be the principal figures who will set the tone of the organisation order to properly establish the examples of ethical conduct. They must be the person who would be able to answer all the difficult questions of the employees as well as the business partners. And other important thing that the leadership keep an eye on is to help the policy makers in adopting tougher laws and regulations and should step up for their efforts to combat the problem.Ethical behaviour should be the foundation of the initiative and should undertake good corporate governance.They should also encompass business practices at different levels that start from board as well as to employee levels. Both the board and the employees take initiative individually from their own sides to stop corruption (Belasen and Toma 2015). Boards should play an important role by developing incentive structures for the employees which would help to support and ethical leadership and it among senior management. As is seen from the discussion that Global leaders are mainly in the front lines of the battle against production. It is in their hands that they should publicly support anti-bribery laws and speak out against corruption practices. They should also make sure that this that the right to which would ensure that each employee would understand the different types of conduct that are acceptable and those which should not be accepted. The leaders should demonstrate their commitment to act against bribery by ensuring that the company address even the minor of the details. This initiative of the leaders should include a thorough background check on suppliers as well as taking the reference checks during the different types of hiring processes.
The chairman of Transparency International's Australian subsidiary called Mr. Whealy are of the opinion that unless the anti money laundering regime cannot be developed by Australia, it would continue to fall in the different corruption rankings (Indirect quote). Brown had also stated that "The big gap is in the lack of a federal anti-corruption agency to really cover the gaps that we know exist in terms of public officials and parliamentarians being covered by the right sort of oversight," (direct quote). He had stated that there is urgent need to develop a better vision and there is also an urgency to control the source form where money is coming from. A number of strategies should be initiated by the government with strictness in action. Firstly, there should be proper policies which should be up to date, relevant as well as tailored for the organization as well as to the industry where it operates. Secondly the procedures should be well documented with audited for compliance (Haddad 2017) (Academic journal). Thirdly, a proper culture with top down and bottom up would help in the promotion of transparency and also reward those which identify the corruption and fraud. This would also take steps to protect those who had come forward form adverse action. Fourthly, a proper framework for fraud and corruption control which is necessary for the effective management of the situation is necessary. This would also assign responsibility and also outline the obligations of key stakeholders. Fifthly, a 24/7 hotline for the whistleblowers should be provided with protected disclosure policy. Proper employment screening should also be conducted would be conducted following proper rules. Training should also be conducted which would be tailored as well as relevant and delivered not only at the time of induction but on an ongoing basis (ABC News 2017) (News Article).
It shouldbe noted that leadership and proper corporate governance are not the ultimate solution to production process but with proper values and commitment to different kinds of ethical standards, they can help to create a wonderful walking place where corruption becomes the exception rather than the goal followed. Policy and enforcement efforts should be continued so that there can be the shift of the landscape of compliance for different kinds of Global Business leaders. In today's world it is much easier to remain connected and therefore each and every business leaders should carry great power and influence the way others can conduct business. The organisational culture should be developed by them by installing ethics and compliance and by promoting core values setting proper Expectations and providing various kinds of incentive. All these measures would ultimately help in going a long way for achieving the best productivity of the organisation and also help in developing innovate, a creative job and promotion of fair and dynamic markets. It is extremely important for the administrative bodies and the Australian federal police to take important initiatives like proper policy, harsh punishment, greater penalties, as well as the respective organizations to implement strategies to reduce corruption at both the levels in Australia.
ABC News. 2017. Australia fails to improve ranking in global corruption index. [online] Available at: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-25/australia-fails-to-improve-ranking-in-global-corruption-index/8212226 [Accessed 19 Sep. 2017].
Belasen, A.T. and Toma, R. eds., 2015. Confronting Corruption in Business: Trusted Leadership, Civic Engagement. Routledge. (https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=QbE0CwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=Belasen,+A.T.+and+Toma,+R.+eds.,+2015.+Confronting+Corruption+in+Business:+Trusted+Leadership,+Civic+Engagement.+Routledge.&ots=NylcSIFOzX&sig=nlIuSXEW2PF1tJfKc35CjphaL7E#v=onepage&q=Belasen%2C%20A.T.%20and%20Toma%2C%20R.%20eds.%2C%202015.%20Confronting%20Corruption%20in%20Business%3A%20Trusted%20Leadership%2C%20Civic%20Engagement.%20Routledge.&f=false)
Breen, M., Gillanders, R., McNulty, G. and Suzuki, A., 2017. Gender and corruption in business. The Journal of Development Studies, 53(9), pp.1486-1501. (article provided b1)
Eicher, S. ed., 2016. Corruption in international business: The challenge of cultural and legal diversity. CRC Press. https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=na8oDAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=Eicher,+S.+ed.,+2016.+Corruption+in+international+business:+The+challenge+of+cultural+and+legal+diversity.+CRC+Press.&ots=Xe3G-fyNK7&sig=m1ZYOzirtF4f6ocJuseRWCxsOH0#v=onepage&q&f=false
Haddad, C., 2017. Foreign Direct Investment Regulation, Business Taxes, and Corruption: Cross-Country Study of Foreign Bank Presence.
Nick McKenzie, R. 2017. Australian companies linked to bribe scandals in Sri Lanka and Congo. [online] The Sydney Morning Herald. Available at: https://www.smh.com.au/business/australian-companies-linked-to-bribe-scandals-in-sri-lanka-and-congo-20160823-gqyzlp.html [Accessed 19 Sep. 2017]. (it is a news article) https://www.smh.com.au/business/australian-companies-linked-to-bribe-scandals-in-sri-lanka-and-congo-20160823-gqyzlp.html
Watt, B., 2015. Corruption in government and business. Busidate, 23(2), p.5. (It has to be bought by the student as it is a paid text book)