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Code of conduct to combat corruption

Many internationally operating Swiss companies have already decided to introduce an anti-corruption code of conduct. Such a code has several advantages:  Employees are confronted with the problems of corruption and their implicit consequences; they receive guidance on how to recognise corruption in good time and to fight it. Your company's business partners and clients as well as the general public perceive your company to be reliable and trustworthy.

Content
By adopting an anti-corruption code of conduct, a company undertakes to act with integrity . Normally, a code of conduct encompasses general principles, rules of conduct to prevent corruption from arising, and instructions on how to proceed in an actual case. More important than its length is its core messages, which can include the following:
  • The stance of the company's management regarding corruption and the involvement and role of its employees.
  • The basic principles of the company's relations to third parties (agents, clients, and suppliers).
  • The company's mechanism through which corruption or suspected corruption can be reported.
  • The definition of advantages that may be permitted (e.g., gifts up to a certain value).
  • The principles of handling conflicts of interest.
  • The sanctions for disregarding the code of conduct.
An anti-corruption code can be part of the company's overall code of conduct or be drafted as a separate set of regulations in its own right.

Implementation
Even more important that the code of conduct is its implementation. Ensure that your employees and those who represent your company know the code and understand the company's anti-corruption policy. By signing a written agreement, your employees commit themselves to act in accordance with the code. Regular training, combined with the monitoring of practices and adaptations when necessary keeps the code up-to-date and effective.

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State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO
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http://www.seco.admin.ch/themen/00645/00657/00659/01397/index.html?lang=en