Friday, January 18

Australian business launches ‘official register’ to fight corruption

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Australian Anti-Corruption Certification is a newly launched nationwide register of Australian businesses that have warranted they have no involvement in corruption, fraudulent activity, criminal activity or bribery.

Every year, many businesses are affected and often fail at the hands of corruption, leaving owners and their staff devastated.  According to Darren Frearson, respected business director and founder of Australian Anti-Corruption Certification, “corruption can occur not only within your own business, but also within the organisations you choose to do business with.

“I too have lost a family business because those I partnered with acted in an appalling way, compromising the financial viability of my business.

“The cost and stress of the subsequent legal process was intense and potentially devastating.   Fortunately I was able to rebuild, move on and continue in business whereas many others are not so lucky and are left completely broken.

“The sad thing is that this situation is so common, so many good people are affected by greed, corruption and unethical behaviour.

“I formed some concepts with business friends about the need for a register of companies that are certified to be free of corruption.  Everyone thought it was a great idea, so together with a dedicated team we started work and created the much needed register.

“We have decided to launch the Australian Anti-Corruption Certification (AA-CC) in December because December is the month of anti corruption.  Global Anti Corruption Day, which is delivered by the United Nations, takes place this month.  As a result and to encourage business to register with AA-CC, we will de donating part of the registration fee to the United Nations.”

PWC’s Global Economic Crime Survey Australia Report (2016) states that bribery and corruption continues to rate in the top four economic crimes experienced.  Their survey showed 56% of chief executives name bribery and corruption as one of the top risks facing their organisations. 

Locally, Australian organisations are predicting a higher likelihood of bribery and corruption in the next two years (31%) when compared with the global average (24%).  Unfortunately Australia continues to slide down Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, now ranking outside the top ten (13th). 

“Most people go into business thinking people will do the right thing.  Sadly that’s not the case,” Darren added.

“I think the register will be strongly embraced by the business community.  In the absence of a Federal ICAC, the register will provide organisations with a much needed place to search and find businesses with integrity.”

To join the Australian Anti-Corruption Certification register, business owners and or company directors are required to sign a legal deed before they receive their dedicated AA-CC Registration number.  Once registered, they can then use the AA-CC logo on their communications to show that they are certified.

The AA-CC website can be searched, free of charge, to find businesses that have declared themselves corruption free.  The register can be searched using a range of different search terms and is a ‘must do’ for any Australian business prior to issuing orders, contracts or awarding tenders.

“I am encouraging all Australian businesses, sole traders and partnerships that operate in an honest and ethical way, to register.   Registration shows that your business is corruption free and promotes fairness and equality in business.  

“Registration also means that your business will be more attractive to customers and Government.   Businesses do business with people they trust.

“I believe we can make the Australian business environment a safer and better place by encouraging as many businesses as possible to join the register.”

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