How to prevent corruption?

Depending on the country and economic sector, it is likely that you will one day find yourself involved in a corruption case. Make sure that you aren't caught by surprise! The following advice will help you confront corruption risks.

1. Inform yourself!

Any anticorruption strategy should start with information. Where does corruption occur and what aspects can it take ? What risks are you running as a result? What measures can you take to prevent it?

In Switzerland : The International Chamber of commerce (ICC Switzerland) has extensive experience in dealing with corruption issues, which is described below. Transparency International assesses the extent of corruption annually in nearly 180 countries. Finally, the United Nations Global Compact has launched an online learning tool for the private sector.

Abroad : Learn about the legal system and local customs. Swiss representations abroad have a mission to monitor developments and inform Swiss companies about local conditions.

2. Take appropriate measures!

Anti-corruption measures may vary. It is important that they are adapted to the size and structure of your company, as well as to the countries and sectors concerned. An anti-corruption strategy will include the following items:

  • Organisationnal measures: process transparency, skills definition, risk reduction.

  • Measures concerning personnel and management: awareness-raising, special attention to employees most at risk, contact point to report irregularities.

  • Control and corrective measures: knowledge tests, correction of weaknesses, external audits.

3. Adopt an anticorruption code of conduct!

In this way, employees will be made aware of the phenomenon of corruption and its consequences, they will have a guide to recognise corruption on time and fight it, and your business partners, your customers and the public will perceive you as a responsible and trustworthy company.  

Even more important than the code of conduct is its implementation: corruption rarely hits companies whose management actively addresses this problem and sends explicit signals that any payment or gift under cover will neither be made nor tolerated, in any form whatsoever.

Specialist staff
Last modification 17.04.2020

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The Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)
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