November 30, 2016
Ensuring adherence to anti-bribery laws is no small task, requiring a combination of training, monitoring, and supervising both employees and agents around the world. Where resources for carrying out those tasks are limited, decisions need to be made about where and how to allocate them.
To do that, decisionmakers need information about the nature and extent of the relevant risks. Those risks will vary from company to company, based on factors such as size, industry, and business model. But as with any project involving global deployment, companies also need to understand the places in which they are operating—their climate and culture, their topography and their terrain.
A map is necessarily reductive, taking certain features of the landscape and presenting them in summary form. A good map identifies the features that will be the most meaningful to its intended users; a driver, for example, needs to know different things than a geologist, or a politician. A good map is also reliable, basing its presentation on measurable aspects of the geography.
Two years ago, TRACE International created and published the first edition of the TRACE Matrix, a world map for anti-bribery compliance professionals. The goal, as with any map, was to strike the right balance between detail and abstraction, giving companies an objective set of reference points to help them navigate their way through a diverse landscape of risk. The map derives its features from a variety of indices measuring the elements that can make a country more or less hospitable to public sector bribery demands or schemes: the extent of government interaction, the law and its enforcement, the transparency of official functions, and the ability of civil society to police its own governance.
Maps, of course, are only a starting point. A driver still needs to keep his eyes on the road after the map has told him where he is. Looking ahead to tomorrow's release of the new 2016 edition of the TRACE Matrix, we hope that it will continue to serve as a useful, data-driven guide, with the right level of detail to help the compliance community in their ongoing navigation.
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