Following our process of strengthening, at Graña y Montero, we have been implementing a series of measures in order to rise our management standards; we have consulted with international organizations on successful cases of anti-corruption fight, and compiled the best practices and opinions from experts with acknowledged prestige.
In this way, José Ugaz, The President of Transparency International, a global movement promoting a world in which the government, business, civil society and the ordinary lives of people can be free of corruption, has shared his opinion on what he considers to be the key inside a successful Anti-corruption program.
To start with, Mr.Ugaz talks about the importance of joint work, from every scope and instance in society, in order to lead an actual anti-corruption fight.
Eradicating corruption is not the duty of one sector only, or the duty of the state only, or public servants, or entrepreneurs. It should be every citizen´s duty. There needs to be a comprehensive commitment of all the parties involved to seek for the common good.
Key components to success in anti-corruption programs
For the expert, success in the implementation of such programs has to do – firstly- with corporate culture, which is the way how a company conceives doing business and how those involved in a given project become aware that malpractices should be excluded.
Secondly, it has to do with operational elements, the way internal procedures have been designed, and the controls to avoid the generation of gaps through which such malpractices could be produced.
On the other hand, Mr. Ugaz tell us that most companies have decided to support some basic anti-corruption elements, such as codes of ethics, handbooks and training courses. However, at the present time, the risks concerning fraud and corruption have increased and become more sophisticated, to such a large scale, that it has become compulsory to implement actual compliance programs.
This includes the fact of having a person in charge of watching over that compliance, besides the implementation of software to monitor a company´s practices, such is the case of financial entities.
Main challenges towards an ethical corporate culture
José Ugaz mentions that in order to strengthen this culture, we must break with the past.
“We have a long tradition in the private sector, where it is perceived as normal, in some sectors, the fact of making payments of arrangements under the table, between private parties and public servants; such malpractice precisely has been so internalized that when it escalates in dimension, it goes unnoticed until it results in a crisis. It seems like the main challenge is there: to break with the past and to demonstrate that it is possible to come into the market in equal and fair conditions, and not by using undue advantages”, he states.
Breaking with the past must be generated, and finding the right people is also a must. Success will have to do with the philosophy and the type of compliance program to be implemented. It is essential to involve the highest corporate levels in the company.
Importance of prevention and sanction
According to Mr. Ugaz, every anti-corruption program must have a preventative aspect and also a prosecutor, disciplinary, investigative aspect.
“I strongly believe that these mechanisms allow to break the silence. Generating a certain level of insecurity in the corrupt party is always a good policy, because they cannot know where the denunciations are coming from or the investigations on the transfer of information”.
Advances in our management
Through our program “Committed with the future” we are moving towards the strengthening of our ethical culture:
- Our directors and our main executives are committed.
- We are evaluating our Anti-corruption policy to identify improvement opportunities.
- Our ethical channel is being redefined to guarantee an optimal performance.
- Our code of conduct is being revised to incorporate more strict guidelines.
- We have created a Risk Committee, Compliance and Sustainability in the Board, a new area in Risks and Compliance, has been created, and Mr. Fernando Dyer has been chosen as the manager in that area.