Buenos Aires, Argentina
Argentina is one of the largest countries and economies in South America, with a gross domestic product of around 445.5 billion US dollars in 2019. However, the country ranks 78th out of 180 on the Corruption Perceptions Index 2020, which is published every year by Transparency International. The result indicates that corruption is still one of the biggest challenges that businesses, government organisations and civil society face in Argentina.
At the same time, compliance and integrity mark topics that are already high on the public agenda. Based on a cultural shift in the private sector, major efforts have been made in recent years to raise standards of transparency, accountability and integrity in state-owned enterprises (SOEs) as well. Against this background, the Alliance for Integrity has adapted the DEPE (De Empresas para Empresas – from Companies to Companies) corruption prevention training to the specific needs of SOEs operating in the country. Argentina thus follows its pioneering role: the DEPE training was piloted in the country for the first time in 2014, followed by the first adaptation specifically for SOEs in 2017.
Within a comprehensive process, a Working Group consisting of compliance officers from multinational companies and specialists from the public sector, have adapted the training material to the business reality of Argentine SOEs. Key adjustments include specific accountability processes in the public sector, which differ from those in the private sector in terms of detail and transparency, and the management of corruption risks that may arise when interacting with third parties.
Since 2017, the sector specific training programme for Argentine SOEs has already supported more than 200 company representatives in developing, monitoring and continuously improving effective compliance measures; among them, the Argentine Airline (EANA), Railway Infrastructure Administration (ADIF SE), National Civil Aviation Administration (ANAC), Ecological Coordination of the Metropolitan Region (CEAMSE), Belgrano Cargas y Logística S.A., Undersecretariat for Strategic Management and Institutional Quality (GCABA), Nucleoeléctrica Argentina S.A., Dioxitek S.A. as well as the Ministry of Transport.
“I better understand now the challenges we face in terms of ethics and integrity. For me, it was very beneficial to discuss dilemma situations that are really part of my daily business,” stated one of the participants. To date, ten trainings have been conducted for SOEs in Argentina. The cornerstone of this commitment is the close cooperation between the Alliance for Integrity and its local partners, namely AHK Argentina and the Global Compact Network Argentina, who have accompanied and supported the implementation of the training programme throughout the entire period. Further sector-specific trainings for different industries and countries are already being planned. Updates can be found on our website.
Author: Fernando Orn