International business has never been more lucrative – or more potentially dangerous to corporate executives, board members, and their business partners and consultants – than it is now. Through dedicated organizations like the Office of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), countries where corruption has been endemic have suddenly adopted antibribery statutes and empowered prosecutors to enforce them.
Over the past five years, a significant majority of foreign bribery resolutions worldwide were a direct result of corporations not fully understating the risk attached to their organization’s third parties – a list that includes distributors, channel partners, retailers, and vendors. It’s a corporation’s consultants, venture partners, intermediaries, and subsidiaries who are most likely to get crosswise with regulatory enforcement, thus resulting in potential criminal and civil liability for the parent companies and their executives.
We have provided a summary of important steps to take in our latest Forbes column.