Commitment in Colombia keeps growing and opens up new opportunities
Colombia has come a long way since the Alliance for Integrity started its activities there in 2015. The partners from the Andean country have positioned themselves as very active within the global initiative and the outlook is promising as the local network is continuously growing.
The year 2019 provided many highlights for the initiative. The Alliance for Integrity and the Global Compact Network Colombia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen the ongoing cooperation and formalising the role of the UN initiative as the implementation partner of the De Empresas Para Empresas (DEPE) training for SMEs in Colombia. The aim of this MoU is to consolidate the strategy of the training programme in the region and to take DEPE to other cities outside the capital.
In order to achieve this, 25 compliance experts were trained as DEPE trainers in Bogotá in October and more Train-the-Trainer workshops are planned to be given in Colombia.
As a result of the strong commitment and interest of the Alliance for Integrity’s Colombian partners, an Anti-Corruption Working Group was initiated together with the Global Compact Network Colombia. Compliance officers from different companies, representatives from sustainable development initiatives and other integrity enthusiasts form the group. Three meetings of the working group were held in 2019. In these, the members discussed innovative anti-corruption strategies and approaches as well as sought opportunities to engage in collective actions. In future the group hold their meetings also in other cities apart from Bogotá.
As part of the Alliance for Integrity’s digital offer, a webinar was broadcasted. In the session experts from Colombia Compra Eficiente,
the public procurement department of the Colombian government shared their knowledge on how to ensure that public procurement procedures meet adequate integrity standards. This webinar reached more than 500 people from different countries. This was the largest live audience ever reached with Alliance for Integrity’s webinars.
TheIntegrityApp, the initiative’s digital tool for the self-assessment of compliance programmes, was also introduced as part of the programme “Colombian Route to Business Integrity” (“Ruta Colombiana de la Integridad Empresarial”) of the Transparency Secretariat (a division of the Presidency of the Republic of Colombia). This programme has the objective to fight corruption in the private sector and strengthen the ties with Colombian enterprises by promoting the implementation of compliance programmes, codes of business ethics, and integrity pacts. TheIntegrityApp enjoys increasing popularity in the country and has been described as useful and practical by many of its users in Colombia.
Finally, the Alliance for Integrity’s No eXcuses! guide in its Colombian version will soon be launched in commemoration of the International Anti-Corruption Day (9 December). Ten companies, the Global Compact Network Colombia, the Transparency Secretariat, and the Alliance for Integrity worked together to adapt the guide to the Colombian context. This three-month collaboration was a valuable experience for all the parties involved.
At the end of 2019, the Alliance for Integrity looks forward to the broadening of its network in Colombia and is eager to explore new opportunities to continue promoting business integrity.
Author: Ana Elena Cadena Ramos