Anti-bribery and corruption rules pose challenge to Australian companies

Anti-bribery and corruption rules pose challenges

Australian companies doing business overseas are facing greater challenges on anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) compliance than ever before, according to a new survey report by KPMG International. Anti-Bribery and corruption: Rising to the challenge in the age of globalisation.

Related content

Gary Gill, Head of Forensic, KPMG Australia, said: “The report shows that a growing number of governments around the world are tightening ABC regulations or introducing new ones. For Australia, of most relevance is the fact that the Chinese authorities are making significant efforts to crack down on corruption. China is already our biggest trading partner and if the FTA goes ahead, as we hope it does, levels of trade will only increase and Australian businesses need to be aware of the risks and how to manage them.”

He added: “As Australian companies do increasing business overseas they rely more heavily on third parties, often in areas where there is a high risk of corruption, and Asia is not immune from that. It is third parties who are often conduits for bribes and they are difficult to detect, so management of third parties is a real challenge when it comes to ABC compliance”.   

The main findings of the global survey, which included 15 Australian companies, were:

  • As companies continue to globalise, their management of third parties pose the greatest challenge in managing ABC programs, ranking first in terms of auditing third parties for compliance and third in conducting due diligence over them.
  • Despite the difficulty of monitoring their business dealings with third parties, nearly half the respondents do not identify high-risk third parties. More than half of those respondents with right-to-audit clauses over third parties have not exercised these rights. 
  • Nearly two thirds of companies indicated that M&A is part of their growth strategy, but many admit they are unaware of the consequences of failing to identify ABC risks during the acquisition phase.
  • Respondents complain they lack the resources to manage ABC risk, ranking fourth overall among the top challenges facing the survey’s respondents.
  • Data analytics is an increasingly important and cost-effective tool to assess ABC controls. Yet only a quarter of respondents use data analysis to identify violations and of those that do so, less than half continuously monitor data to spot potential violations. A similar proportion of respondents (26 percent) could not say either way.

Gary Gill said: “The findings and issues revealed by our global survey have resonance in Australia, where bribery and corruption cases are on the increase and have the potential to seriously damage an organisation’s reputation. The AFP is making renewed efforts to crack down on bribery and corruption in Australia, but as a nation we don’t always prosecute allegations with the same vigour of other countries, and findings of corruption do not always result in criminal prosecutions. This does not persuade companies to make the investment necessary to manage bribery and corruption risk effectively, despite the obvious advantages of doing so from a reputational perspective.”

About the survey

The survey targeted 659 respondents covering 64 countries, with 140 respondents based in Central & Eastern Europe (including Russia), 113 in Western European countries (excluding the UK), 105 from the Asia– Pacific region, 66 respondents in the U.S., 64 from the South American continent, 61 in South Africa, 41 in the UK, and 31 in Mexico.  Industries were widely represented: banking comprised 20 percent, life sciences 12 percent, manufacturing 10 percent and energy & natural resources 8 percent. 

For further information, contact:

Ian Welch

Senior Communications Manager, KPMG Australia

Mobile: +61 400 818 891

Anti-Bribery and Corruption Survey 2015

Globalisation has entered a new phase, posing greater challenges for anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) compliance than ever before.

Read more

Connect with us


Request for proposal



KPMG's new digital platform

KPMG's new digital platform