Risk Officers are Less Confident in the Effectiveness of Anti-Bribery and Corruption (ABC) Programs Compared to the First Half of the Year

  • Thirty-nine percent of global respondents say that their compliance program is very effective, a 12% drop from 51% in the first half of the year.
  • Sixty-two percent of organizations have concerns regarding what might be on the regulatory horizon in the next 12 months, with the majority expecting a stricter and increased regulatory environment.
  • Seventy-two percent of respondents expect the compliance function will take on increased responsibilities in 2022.
  • Sixty percent of respondents indicated environmental, social and governance (ESG) is included in organization’s ABC program, a 6% increase from earlier in the year.

New York – Kroll, the world’s premier provider of services and digital products related to valuation, governance, risk and transparency, today released additional findings to its 2021 Anti-Bribery and Corruption Benchmarking Report, which found that three-fourths (76%) of survey respondents indicated their compliance programs are effective, but of that number, only 39% rated the program as highly effective. Our additional survey of 200 senior risk professionals in August 2021 builds on the initial report released in June 2021, giving a unique perspective on how the global anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) landscape has changed in the past six months and what we can expect in 2022.

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors continue to play a major role in ABC programs, with business ethics being the most widely incorporated factor globally at 32%. Leadership’s commitment was stated as the most popular catalyst for incorporating ESG into ABC programs, according to 55% of survey respondents. Despite these advancements, there are still several hurdles including cost, lack of standardization, limited data and a lack of transparency and regulation when it comes to implementing ESG into ABC programs, which could explain why 52% of respondents felt that ESG creates more challenges than benefits for the compliance function.

Important findings highlight that compliance officers are less confident in their ABC programs, with 39% indicating their programs were extremely effective, down from 51% earlier in the year. Seventy-two percent of respondents are concerned with increased responsibilities for the compliance function in 2022, but an even larger number (81%) feel they have the support of senior management. With a new U.S. administration in place for nearly a year and other global geopolitical changes, 62% of respondents voiced concerns around what’s on the regulatory horizon over the next 12 months, predominately about stricter and increased regulations, including new global regulatory requirements and legislation.

“The findings from our second survey highlight several shifts from the first half on the year on how compliance officers are adapting their ABC programs. We’ve seen a broader adaption of ESG in ABC programs, which also reflects the importance of fostering a culture of integrity,” said Steven Bock, Global Head of Compliance, Risk and Diligence at Kroll. “A culture of integrity not only needs to start at the top, but also it must be incorporated at all levels of the organization. Globally, 78% of survey respondents said their organization is meaningfully committed to a culture of integrity, which is a good start, but there is certainly room for improvement.”

Methodology
Kroll commissioned a survey of 200 senior professionals from around the world in January and August 2021, to gain their unique perspective on global anti-bribery and corruption program expectations in 2021 and catalogued those survey results to create the 2021 Anti-Bribery and Corruption Benchmarking report. The research was conducted via an anonymous survey.

About Kroll
Kroll is the world’s premier provider of services and digital products related to valuation, governance, risk and transparency. We work with clients across diverse sectors in the areas of valuation, expert services, investigations, cyber security, corporate finance, restructuring, legal and business solutions, data analytics and regulatory compliance. Our firm has nearly 5,000 professionals in 30 countries and territories around the world. For more information, visit www.kroll.com.

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