The Alliance for Integrity’s capacity-building programme in the Latin Americas “De Empresas para Empresas” (DEPE) seeks to promote clean business practices and fair competition as a mean to a stable, secure and responsible business investment climate in Latin America.
Bearing this in mind, DEPE aims to assist companies to develop and implement effective corruption prevention mechanisms. Major companies with prevention systems support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with little experience in countering corruption by transferring their knowledge and experience. Thereby companies gain practical tools to solve problems related to corruption and to increase their competitiveness. The initiative is characterized by this practical approach and its orientation towards small and medium-sized companies with little experience in countering corruption. The training programme DEPE in Latin America is locally implemented by several local partners.
Corruption Prevention Training for SMEs
Compliance Officer with experience in implementing effective corruption prevention systems are trained to become DEPE trainers.
These trainers instruct small and medium-sized enterprises with little or no experience in countering corruption and on how to develop corruption prevention systems.
The online Support Desk serves as a platform to assist trained companies in obtaining implementation-oriented information and making consults.
The compliance officers trained in the first phase typically work at national or international companies which have experience in implementing compliance programmes. Due to their experience, practical knowledge and the fact that they understand the local business culture, these compliance experts are ideal for providing the training and sharing their experience with SMEs with little or no experience in corruption prevention. This phase of the programme is called Train-the-Trainer and takes one day. It aims at familiarizing participants with the training material, the different practical cases and the new communication forms.
The corruption prevention training for SMEs is the centrepiece of the programme. In this second phase, SMEs with little or no experience in countering corruption are trained. The capacity-building is based on the standard corruption prevention training developed by the Global Compact Network Germany, which then is tailored to the specific context of each country of implementation. After this workshop, particularly the six practical steps, SMEs gain a better understanding of the various forms and consequences of corruption and the competitive advantages that comes with implementing a compliance programme within a company.
Finally, after attending the Corruption Prevention Training, SMEs gain access to the online Support Desk. This online platform complements the capacity-building programme as it provides additional resources, publications, practical cases and frequently asked questions answered by compliance experts. Additionally, SMEs have the opportunity to ask questions regarding the development and implementation of corruption prevention programmes within their organisation through the Support Desk. These inquiries are answered within 72 hours.
International studies to measure corruption place Latin America at high levels of perceived corruption. For instance, the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index 2017 shows that from the countries where the Alliance for Integrity is present, only Uruguay and Chile have a score above 65 from 100, where 100 means very clean and 0 highly corrupt. The rest of the countries (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay) do not even achieve 40 points.
This shows that corruption in Latin America remains a big challenge. The levels of corruption and the mechanisms in place to tackle it vary from country to country.
Nevertheless, recent corruption scandals in the region and the subsequent increasing public awareness and mobilisation that this has provoked, has led to greater attention being placed upon this issue from governments and private sector actors across the region. In a few countries, this has already resulted in legislative changes and the creation of controlling bodies.
Argentina is the second largest economy in South America after Brazil. The country is experiencing a recent change of government and is undergoing significant changes in respect to tackling corruption. In 2015 a new director has been appointed to the Anti-Corruption Office (Oficina Anticorrupción), who has stated her commitment to submit to Congress a new legal bill to address the issue of stolen assets.
|Population:||43.8 million inhabitants||GDP per capita:||12,440 US$ (2016)|
|Form of government:||Presidential democracy||TI CPI rank:||85/180 (2017)|
|GDP:||545,4 billion US$ (2016)||Score:||39/100 (2017)|
Chile is one of the least corrupt countries in Latin America. In order to achieve this status, the country has taken exemplary steps to deal with corruption, such as by developing a strong and well enforced body of legislation and by building strong and transparent institutions that both promote business and have effective mechanisms to investigate and punish corrupt practices. Chile’s economy is prospering and by large parts is based on the mining sector.
|Population:||17,909 million inhabitants||GDP per capita:||8,123 US$ (2016)|
|Form of government:||Presidential democracy||TI CPI rank:||26/180 (2017)|
|GDP:||247,027 billion US$ (2016)||Score:||67/100 (2017)|
Colombia, with an economy that has experienced rapid and sustained growth over the past years, has established a public agenda on anti-corruption through the 2014 legislation on Transparency and the Right to Access National Public Information. This will facilitate the development of tools and mechanisms that will promote higher levels of transparency and therefore minimise corruption risks.
|Population:||48,653 million inhabitants||GDP per capita:||5,805.6 US$ (2016)|
|Form of government:||Presidential democracy||TI CPI rank:||96/180 (2017)|
|GDP:||282,462 billion US$ (2016)||Score:||37/100 (2016)|
As Latin America’s second largest economy and the most important export nation in the re-gion, Mexico plays a key economic and political role in Latin America and the Caribbean. Mexico is highly attractive to foreign investors with 33,930 million USD foreign direct invest-ment in 2016.
However, corruption is still a significant risk for companies operating in Mexico. The costs of conducting business in Mexico is higher than in other countries in the region and the lack of transparency in the judicial system limits market competitiveness. The country’s judiciary and police, and business registration processes are often negatively influenced by corruption. Or-ganized crime continues to be a very problematic factor for business, imposing large costs on companies. Compliance with procurement regulations is erratic, and corruption is extensive, despite laws covering conflicts of interest, competitive bidding, and company blacklisting pro-cedures.
Despite a strong legal framework – corruption indeed is criminalised under the Penal Code, The Federal Public Servants’ Responsibilities Law, the Anti-Money Laundering Law, the Law on Acquisitions and the Law on Public Work and Related Services - Mexico’s anti-corruption legislation is not effectively enforced. Nonetheless, the country has shown interest in fighting corruption, particularly in the field of public procurement, monitoring processes, and in the health sector. To reduce opportunities for corruption, the Mexican government introduced the Secretariat of the Economy website that offers information and forms related to investment and trade.
An online federal procurement website, Compranet, is intended to increase transparency in the government and to decrease the frequency of bribery and a specialized public procure-ment due diligence tool for companies was built up to mitigate corruption risks associated with procurement in Mexico. In 2016, the enactment of the Constitutional Reforms regarding anti-corruption, gave birth to the country’s National Anticorruption System (SNA) which represents a historic step in the country´s fight against corruption. The SNA is a coordinating body be-tween the federal and local authorities, which is in charge of the prevention, detection and sanction of administrative responsibilities and acts of corruption, as well as the control of pub-lic resources(, in which citizens participate through a Committee.)Mexico has adopted the Transparency Standards on Government Procurement by the Asia-Pacific Economic Coop-eration (APEC). Mexico has ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UN-CAC) and is a signatory to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.
The government established Tramitanet (in Spanish) to allow for the electronic processing of transactions within the bureaucracy and to thereby reduce the risk of bribery. Organisations like Iniciativa Latinoamericana por los Datos Abiertos, Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo, la Comisión Económica para América Latina the G20 together with the Organisation for Eco-nomic Co-operation and Development (OECD) are committed in the fight against corruption. There exist also a variety of initiatives from the civil society, e.g. 'Torre de Control', the citi-zen’s tool 'ContratoBook' and 'Mexicanos contra la Corrupción e Impunidad' (MCCI), the mo-bile application 'Escudo Ciudadano'.
|Population:||127,540 million inhabitants||GDP per capita:||8,208.6 US$ (2016)|
|Form of government:||Presidential republic||TI CPI rank:||135/180 (2017)|
|GDP:||1,046,922 billion US$ (2016)||Score:||29 (2017)|
Paraguay is placed among the countries with the highest level of perceived corruption in Latin America, according to the Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International. This shows the great challenge that this country faces and thus, the greater need for the Alliance for Integrity to foment higher levels of transparency. Although the country does have strict laws relating to matters of compliance and prevention of corruption, such as the law to prevent and suppress unlawful acts intended to legitimise money or property, significantly greater enforcement is needed if it is to result in noticeable change.
|Population:||6,725 million inhabitants||GDP per capita:||4,077.7 US$ (2016)|
|Form of government:||Presidential republic||TI CPI rank:||135/180 (2017)|
|GDP:||27,424 billion US$ (2016)||Score:||29/100 (2017)|
Uruguay achieved the highest score in the region on Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index. Nevertheless, it is far from being free of corruption and its government advocates further improvement. In this context, they continue to strive for higher levels of transparency and continue to invest resources in effective control and monitoring mechanisms.
|Population:||3,444 million inhabitants||GDP per capita:||15,220 US$ (2016)|
|Form of government:||Presidential democracy||TI CPI rank:||23/180 (2017)|
|GDP:||52,419 billion US$ (2016)||
The Alliance for Integrity has been active since 2015 in Latin America with its capacity building programme "De Empresas para Empresas". The Latin-American country office of the Alliance for Integrity is located in Brazil. In the rest of Latin America the work of the Alliance for Integrity is implemented by cooperation with our partners. The activities are focused on the operation of our compliance training programme “De Empresas para Empresas" (DEPE). This training programme is implemented mainly through the local German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (AHKs) in cooperation with the local networks of the United Nations Global Compact.
DEPE was created to increase the ability of Latin American companies to develop compliance programmes. It aims to empower small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) enabling them to develop and establish internal systems to prevent corruption. By doing so, they receive support from large national and/or international companies. These companies share their knowledge and experience on this issue with the SMEs and thus contribute to an environment of equal competition.