Corruption remains as one of the main concerns in societies. It deters development and progress. In the digital era, the improper behaviour risk is even higher. However, technology should be placed on the right side, connecting governments and private entities in the efforts to combat bad doing.
Manuel Crespo de la Mata –
Chief Compliance Officer & DPO
A global enemy which triggers the need of an active companies´ reaction
The international business environment needs security for investment, and corruption, at different levels depending on circumstances and jurisdictions, still qualifies as the most relevant obstacle for achieving such goal.
Regulations, the new ESG framework and, more importantly, self-consciousness, have placed medium-large sized companies in the vanguard of the war against dishonesty.
“Business at OECD”, an active working Group with whom Telefonica proudly collaborates, has recently published a paper aimed at turning concerns into positive actions: “Stepping up the game: Digital technologies for the promotion of the fight against corruption – a business perspective“.
This document is the first deliverable of a project which, deepening into the evolving ecosystem of the compliance private sector, aspires to the acknowledgement of the existence of a current framework where battles against corruption are being won. In particular, digitalisation, whilst implying a threaten of new integrity challenges, is in turn the most powerful and fair weapon that can be used in that fight.
Telefonica is in a privileged position to play a role in that ambitious scenario:
Telefonica has chosen to take advantage of this breeding ground. In fact, it has a long-lasting history of applying automatization processes to some of the main elements of its anticorruption program, either based on Group scale management tools or, otherwise, as the outcome of direct investing on ad-hoc systems for specific needs.
The OECD paper has acknowledged this effort, and expressly refers to two initiatives that, from different perspectives, illustrate the above mentioned Telefonica’s approach:
Those initiatives, which have been explicitly highlighted during the presentation of the paper that took place on January 26th, 2023, have been chosen in view of their eventual projection in the public environment.
It is self-understood that public involvement in the fight against corruption is of essence, and should be, not only credible, but also visible.
First, governments and regulations should benefit from the role of big players that are already placing technology for subserving such fight. For instance, promoting organized ecosystems where, with the appropriate legal cautions, transparent information may be available.
Also, going beyond such regulatory approach, it should not be disregarded that corruption exists when there is a misconduct both in the offering and in the accepting party, no matter who takes the initiative. And, in that regard, administrations, governments and public servants can become the best possible allies of the private developments, including those that embed technology:
In this new era where social and governance aspects are legitimately taken into consideration for an increasing set of purposes, lack of integrity can easily be an obstacle which turns useless all efforts. That is why preserving integrity is a task for the whole society. And, once again, Telefonica wishes to be positively identified as an active and committed agent which, through its expertise, contributes to the achievement of such objective.
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