Risk of corruption, bribery at work in Australia, New Zealand 'low’: Survey

'This can create a false sense of security because no organisation is immune to the threat of bribery and corruption'

Risk of corruption, bribery at work in Australia, New Zealand 'low’: Survey

The current global situation might be ripe for corruption or bribery to occur at the workplace, but a new report has found that majority of risk leaders don't think this is the case.

Deloitte's latest Bribery and Corruption Report 2023 surveyed and interviewed this year 130 risk leaders from Australia and New Zealand to uncover their perspectives of bribery and corruption in the workplace.

It found that 31% of the respondents believe that the risk of bribery or corruption at work is low, while 30% said it is very low.

In fact, the report found that 88% haven't heard of domestic bribery and corruption cases in their organisation. Another 96% said they haven't heard about foreign bribery and corruption at work.

'Double-edged sword'

However, the lack of awareness on such cases could be a "double-edged sword," according to the report.

"While organisations may not know of instances, there is a risk that they don't have the right bribery and corruption controls and processes in place to identify possible instances in the first place," the report said.

In fact, 62% of the organisations said they do not engage with third parties to conduct bribery and corruption risk assessments.

"This can create a false sense of security because no organisation is immune to the threat of bribery and corruption," the report said.

Potential gap

The findings also came despite major disruptions across organisations as of late, including government and regulatory changes, COVID-19, supply chains disruptions, and rising interest rates.

Deloitte partner Lorinda Kelly said the survey unveils a potential gap between the perceived and actual risk of bribery and corruption occurring.

"The reality is that the opportunity for bribery and corruption is high because there is so much disruption and change to the way we do business and there always will be," Kelly said in the report.

"This begs the question - are we actively looking in the right place or passively assuming 'She'll be alright' because of all the other pressures that organisations face in our ever-evolving world."

The report urged organisations to prioritise bribery and corruption risk assessments, which would benefit them on ensuring legal compliance, protecting their reputation, fulfilling ethical responsibilities, managing financial risks, and gaining competitive advantage.

"When bribery or corruption takes place, it can have a detrimental impact on an organisation's reputation, shareholder value, environmental and social performance, as well as the communities they work with," the report said.

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