The Alliance for Integrity, in joint efforts with the Colombian Global Compact Network and UNODC Colombia, launched a call in March for Colombian companies with a compliance strategy to submit their best practices regarding integrity strengthening and corruption prevention. An international jury of compliance experts, composed of partner entities such as the Inter-American Development Bank (BID), Natura Brazil, Sancor Seguros Argentina and Persé (Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility in Chihuahua, Mexico) selected the most innovative and successful practices among the many submissions. The awarded companies will be featured in a publication in December, within the framework of the International Anti-Corruption Day.
This is the first time that the Alliance for Integrity together with its partners will give this recognition in the country. The Recognition of Good Anti-Corruption Practices aims to give visibility to those companies that contribute to the fight against corruption in the Colombian private sector. It also seeks to amplify the replicability of these good practices in other Colombian companies, as well as in other countries of the region.
The publication comes at a key moment for Colombia and the world, since the ongoing pandemic has forced companies to implement different mechanisms to continue fighting corruption. A variety of new challenges arise for compliance, such as those related to data protection and cybersecurity, financing with limited resources and adapting to changing regulations and markets. The selected good practices can help to guide future compliance strategies and will be a great tool for interregional exchange and collective action.
The recognised good practices are the following:
- Caja de Compensación Familiar Compensar is a Social Security entity that seeks to create conditions that favour the personal and professional development of its affiliated workers and their families. Their good practice was recognised for evolving towards a culture of integrity under ethical principles and corporate values, as an organisational strategy and philosophy at the service of stakeholders and society in general. The strategy aims to prevent any undue and unfair practices by stakeholders. To this end, several measures were created, for example, the dissemination of the ethical standards and the report of the determination to comply with them in all activities of the organisation.
- Colombia Telecomunicaciones S.A E.S.P. is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the country. It has been recognised for two best practices: Corruption Risk Management and Management of Conflicts of Interest. The Corruption Risk Management Strategy is aimed at creating more trust among stakeholders and minimising potential risks that could compromise the brand image. Raising awareness and training staff is a fundamental part of this strategy. The mechanisms used include procedures to report non-compliance with the principles of responsible business, encoded in Telefónica’s Code of Ethics. The Management of Conflicts of Interest is applicable at all levels of the organisation. Through training and awareness raising on applicable regulations and group guidelines, the strategy serves as orientation to prevent and identify potential conflicts of interest that may arise in the daily activities of the company.
- Empresa de Acueducto y Alcantarillado de Bogotá (EAAB-ESP), a company operating in the water treatment sector, has been awarded for strengthening a culture of integrity within their business. Their strategy aims to develop an action plan that helps employees to internalise the key messages of the Code of Ethics. Various activities create awareness of the company’s principles and promote the importance of compliance measures. In this way, the Code of Ethics is firmly anchored in the corporate culture and actively lived every day.
- S.A.S. is a Colombian supplier of polypropylene resins that operates mainly in the petrochemicals sector. It has been recognised for its good practice called “Integrity, ethics and strategic behaviour in Essentia”. The objective of the good practice is to consolidate an ethical culture that establishes the expected behaviours in the organisation and in the relationship with third parties. It also seeks to make ethics a benchmark for behaviour in all interrelations of the organisation and its officials, and to create a framework of reference where integrity and ethical behaviours and actions are permanently promoted within and outside the organisation.