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Anti-bribery in Large French Groups' Communication

Anti-bribery in Large French Groups’ Communication

Faced with an increasingly complex, concentrated legal and regulatory context – overlapping regional and multilateral conventions, national and international laws, standards, guidance and more – and heavier penalties, the risk of corruption has become a major issue for companies. This is particularly due to the financial consequences and reputation damage it can trigger.

Stricter anti-corruption legislation which can reach beyond borders, like the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in the USA and the UK Bribery Act, necessitates the implementation of anti-corruption programs within companies.

Therefore groups and their directors must implement internal control systems suitable for the company’s size and business in order to address the risk of corruption.

The importance given by analysts, investors and the general public to a company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) indicators, including the fairness of commercial practices, when assessing performance, also continues to grow. This trend has been reinforced by the development of new value creation assessment methods such as integrated reporting.

How we play our part – France initiative

In light of the International Anti-Corruption Day on December 9, 2014, the Mazars France team endeavored to report on the practices of major French groups in terms of their communication about their anti-corruption programs. The elements presented in this first study came from analyzing information provided by the CAC Large 60 issuers in their most recently released Annual Report.

5 key lessons learned:

  1. Anti-corruption is widely tackled by top management and governance bodies, while rooted in company culture (72% mention the implementation of an anti-bribery program)
  2. Communication on corruption risk assessment – a key element in designing the program – is still in its infancy (68% mention exposure to risks of corruption but without mentioning detailed risk factors)
  3. Major trends have emerged concerning implemented anti-corruption procedures (40% mentioned the implementation of procedures when dealing with business intermediaries)
  4. Anti-corruption program monitoring remains ill-defined (43% mention the implementation of a program review by top management)
  5. Employee information, awareness and training initiatives were mentioned by a large majority of companies (77% mention the existence of a training program)

Visit www.mazars.fr to learn more about this first barometer or contact our Mazars Anti-bribery Services in France:

Cédric Haaser, Partner and Laetitia Robert, Consultant.

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