RESIST (Resisting Extortion and Solicitation in International Transactions) helps to provide guideline for enterprises’ staff on resisting extortion and bribe solicitation in business transactions.
RESIST is jointly produced by four international organisations fighting against corruption including:
- International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
- Transparency International (TI)
- United Nations Global Compact (UNGC)
- World Economic Forum Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI)
It is also contributed by many other companies and international organisations.
Why do businesses need RESIST as a tool?
Businesses continues to face with corruption
In 2014, Vietnam ranked 119 out of 175 countries in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI), showing that corruption remains a serious problem in the country. It is also seen in Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) that corruption and unofficial payments are top concerns of businesses and likely on the rise. Businesses face corruption in areas such as: getting investment license, procurement, import and export procedure at customs, and compliance inspection.
Doing business in an environment of high corruption risks, facing unequal competition and popular unofficial payment, enterprises in one hand are victims of unofficial payment solicitation. On the other hand, they are also actors contributing to corruption through proactively giving bribe to gain business privilege and/or faster service. A number of enterprises have been using bribery as a solution to achieve short-term benefits such as: better competitive advantage or avoiding disadvantages when other competitors giving bribe.
Businesses face with various risks when giving bribe
As drawbacks, giving bribe leads enterprise to potential risks such as disclosure, prosecution, contract disposal, boycott from potential stakeholders, fines and suspension. Doing business with bribery damages reputation of enterprises. In corrupted enterprise, employees rely on giving and taking bribery to do business. They even intentionally make up bribe solicitation to steal from their enterprises.
Enterprises giving bribe are continuously requested for more, which makes business decision more difficult and dependent on people who give and take bribe. Eventually, the sustainability of enterprises is negatively affected.
Increasingly, new anti-corruption law, growing enforcement and the rise of corporate responsibility are making a compelling case for enterprises to counter corruptions and promote business integrity.
- United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) prohibits “passive” corruption, extortion or solicitation in either the public or the private sector.
- 2010 OEDC guidance recommends companies implement measures to address major risk areas, including solicitation and extortion. It also emphasises the need to provide companies, in particular small and medium enterprises (SMEs), with general advice and support on resisting extortion and solicitation.
To mitigate risks, one solution is to prepare for prevention and response to possible solicitation, which helps enterprise not to be passive when facing solicitation, and to protect their reputation, business opportunities and legal rights.
Therefore, RESIST is designed as a training tool to provide practical guidance for company employees on how to prevent and respond to an inappropriate demand by client, business partner or public authority in the most efficient and ethical way.
Content of RESIST
RESIST is designed as a training tool to provide practical guidance for company employees on how to prevent and/or respond to an inappropriate demand by a client, business partner or public authority in the most efficient and ethical way.
RESIST identified 22 scenarios that illustrate a range of solicitation scenarios and how to respond the situations in a concrete and specific manner.
Each of those 22 scenarios is based on actual experiences and contribution of companies, to address two basic questions of enterprises:
- How can the enterprise prevent the demand from being made in the first place?
- How should the enterprise react if the demand is made?
In addition, the Annex includes a series of recommendations that can apply to most situations. Users or RESIST tool should study these generic recommendations before reviewing the individual scenarios.
This RESIST tool will be of interest to all companies that may be exposed to solicitation risks in conducting international business, in particular small and medium enterprises which are more likely to receive bribe solicitation as they are more vulnerable than larger companies and have fewer resources to face such situations.
Within companies, this tool is mainly directed to those responsible for ethics, compliance and integrity training and to individual employees involved in sales, marketing and operations. The scenarios aim to make company employees more aware of potential solicitation and extortion risks and provide the opportunity for an open discussion on how to best address solicitation dilemmas in an effective and practical way.