The OECD's 1997 Anti-Bribery Convention* has limited the corruption of foreign public officials in international business transactions. However, corruption remains widespread in many countries. For companies operating internationally, the risks are high and the sanctions severe.
Zero tolerance for corruption
Our corruption prevention policy influences how we operate at every level. The company-wide "zero tolerance" strategy is defined at corporate level for the whole Group.
Our employees clearly play a critical role. We expect them to act fairly and responsibly, so in order to keep them aware we provide special trainings and best practice guidelines to support them in their everyday work.
In parallel with the T-Days 2016, the in house seminar for senior managers featuring in Boston, London, New-Delhi, Doha and Paris, Business Integrity & Performance side meetings has been organized; the general principles of the Group’s policy on business integrity, particularly with regard to corruption prevention have been restated, as well as new regulatory environments in countries. The meetings scored a major hit among more than 400 local managers, who took the opportunity to discuss business ethics issues with the Group’s VP, Ethics and Corporate Responsibility.
If employees witness an act of bribery or corruption, they can use our secure ethics alert facility to notify their supervisor or the company in complete confidentiality.
Working with reliable partners
We are developing strategic relationships with Key Industrial Partners (KIPs) in all our markets. KIPs are selected through an extremely rigorous process of checks before contracting (due diligence). By the end of 2014, over 200 KIPs had successfully completed the selection process in nearly 70 different countries.
We also work with Business Advisers (agents, consultants, experts, etc.) to provide insights on business opportunities in particular markets. They are also the subject of detailed verification analysis prior to contracting (due diligence).
The policy of preventing corruption is also reflected by the increased presence of Thales in markets of countries where we sell.
Developing standards and regulations
We work closely with influential organisations — the UN, the OECD, Transparency International, IFBEC**, ICC and others — to help develop best practices, standards and regulations of the future. These include for instance tougher sanctions on passive corruption.
Thales is a founding member of IFBEC – a structure common to ASD*** and AIA**** - and participated in creation of the “Global Principles of Business Ethics**, the global standard for preventing corruption of the aerospace and defense sector.
Internationally recognised leadership
International organisations have praised our leadership in the fight against bribery and corruption.
- We are the only French aerospace and defence company to achieve the highest level of reporting under the United Nations Global Compact.
- Transparency International ranks us in Band B of the 2015 Defence Companies Anti-corruption Index – Thales is now among the top 4 European and top 10 worldwide defence companies in terms of prevention of corruption.
The huge cost of corruption
According to the World Bank, corruption represents between 1 and 1.5 trillion dollars every year. That's about 10 times more than the 120 billion dollars spent on development aid by OECD member countries in 2009.
* OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions
*** Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe
**** Aerospace Industries Association of America