On the Level: Business and Government against Corruption in Colombia

Summary

Countries of operation: 
Colombia (HQ)
Year: 
2016
Sector: 
Multi-Sector
Collective Action Type: 
Declarations/Joint Activities
Members: 

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Colombia

 

Description: 

This project aims to increase public and private sector dialogue and knowledge sharing, with a view to strengthening the development and implementation of corruption prevention, criminalization and enforcement measures in line with the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).

 

This project is supported by Siemens as part of the Siemens Integrity Initiative.

Further information

Summary: 

The project seeks to strengthen the legal framework for the prevention of and fight against corruption in Colombia, with particular emphasis on corporate liability and corruption in the private sector, and to enhance public and private sector dialogue in preventing corruption and promoting transparency. The project also seeks to strengthen the ability of companies to identify processes susceptible to corruption and implement actions to protect themselves.

This will be achieved by:

  • Improving public-private sector dialogue and introducing a more coordinated approach to anti-corruption issues in Colombia through the establishment of a working group consisting of public and private sector stakeholders as an ongoing forum for joint prevention in the fight against corruption;
  • Strengthening the legal regime relating to private sector corruption by providing input from relevant private and public sector stakeholders to the new legislation on corporate liability and, once adopted, supporting its implementation.

 

Origins: 

This project is supported by Siemens as part of the Siemens Integrity Initiative.

The mandate of UNODC is to support the States in the implementation of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption - UNCAC. As this convention sets on chapter II, there are different responsibilities for public sector (Article 7), private sector (Article 12) and overall society (Article 31). Therefore, there was a need to create a collective action to support this mandate.

With the creation of this CAI, besides supporting the State on the implementation of UNCAC, UNODC has supported the process of implementation of the Colombian National law on transnational bribery, as there were many recommendations to be implemented according to the international best practices.

 

 

Is the collective action initiative open to other companies?: 
Yes
Goal(s): 

Increased knowledge of anti-corruption laws and standards designed to combat unfair competition, reduce market distortions and promote integrity at the local level (some of the poorest areas in Colombia).

First, the project has already reached a large number of people -around 1.800- in 15 cities around the country during 2016 and 2017. Through the different events carried out so far, the project managed to increase the awareness of the public and private sector counterparts to the importance of preventing and fighting corruption and about the project. 

The meeting of the working group demonstrated the strong commitment of all stakeholders, including governmental counterparts, companies and business associations. This lays a solid basis for its effective implementation. Further, the understanding and appreciation of the importance of public-private dialogue by both parties seem to have grown significantly over the past months, both at the capital but also in local areas.

 

Strengths, weaknesses, lessons learned: 

Lessons learned:

-      The understanding of corruption and how to fight it was more limited than we had expected, in both the public and private sectors. Therefore, the workshops were adapted to include background information before delving into practical exercises.

-       Build a joint dialogue between public-private sector, civil society and academy is not an easy task as all they have different responsibilities and capacities. Therefore, recognize these differences is one of the key lessons learned of setting up a CAI, because it allows the project to create tools and methodologies adequate for each actor.