Shedding Light on Corrupt Practices: Transparency Counteracts Bribery
CIPE: You recently launched a new initiative to try and expose bribery around the world – BRIBEline. What is it all about?
Alexandra Wrage: BRIBEline is a secure, multi-lingual, web-based mechanism through which companies and individuals can anonymously report bribe demands. The idea behind it is very simple – often, in countries around the world, companies and individuals become victims of extortion by public officials, but they cannot always get the information out and let the public know of such demands. So, we tried to create an information tool to try and expose extortion by launching BRIBEline.
BRIBEline, available at www.bribeline.org, is easy to use; those making reports simply answer no more than 10 brief multiple-choice questions. No names are requested or collected, and reports made to BRIBEline are not used for investigations or prosecutions. Instead, the information gathered through BRIBEline will be aggregated and publicly reported by country and by sector (the customs service, the judiciary, etc.). The goal is to shine a spotlight on the worst offenders, provide companies with an additional risk mitigation tool, encourage governments to reduce corruption among public officials, and help those working to increase transparency and reduce bribery more effectively target their efforts.
CIPE: This is only one of many other TRACE initiatives to combat corruption. What are some of the other programs you are involved in?
Alexandra Wrage: TRACE International, Inc., is a non-profit membership-based association that pools resources to provide practical and cost-effective anti-bribery compliance solutions for multinational companies and their commercial intermediaries. TRACE provides several core services and products, including: due diligence reports on commercial intermediaries; model compliance policies; an online Resource Center with foreign local law summaries, including guidelines on gifts and hospitality; in-person and online anti-bribery training; and research on corporate best practices.
Alexandra Wrage is the president of TRACE, an international non-profit business association working with companies to raise their anti-bribery compliance standards. She is also the author of Bribery and Extortion: Undermining Business, Government and Security. Ms. Wrage is Chair of the Women in International Regulatory Law Symposium, vice-chair of the ABA’s Committee on Anti-Corruption Initiatives and Compliance Issues, a member of the Steering Committee for Business Principles for Countering Bribery and a member of the Working Group for the UN Global Compact 10th Principle. Ms. Wrage has written three guidebooks: The TRACE Standard for Doing Business with Intermediaries Internationally, The High Cost of Small Bribes, and First to Know: Robust Internal Reporting Programs. She speaks frequently on topics of international law, anti-corruption initiatives, and the hidden costs of corruption. Ms. Wrage, a Canadian, studied law at Kings College, Cambridge University.
The views expressed by the interviewee are her own and do not necessarily represent the views of the Center for International Private Enterprise. The Center for International Private Enterprise grants permission to reprint, translate, and/or publish original articles from its Economic Reform Feature Service provided that (1) proper attribution is given to the original author and to CIPE and (2) CIPE is notified where the article is placed and a copy is provided to CIPE’s Washington office.
- Democratic Governance
- Access to Information
- Combating Corruption
- Business Association Development
- Corporate Governance
- Legal & Regulatory Reform
- Informal Sector & Property Rights
- Corporate Citizenship (CSR)
- South Asia
- Southeast Europe
- Middle East & North Africa
- Latin America & the Caribbean