2014

USRBC Announces Support for Risk Compliance Initiative in Russia

HOUSTON, Oct. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S.-Russia Business Council (USRBC) yesterday announced a partnership with the Russian Compliance Alliance (RCA), a newly-launched initiative in Russia that provides global corporations and their local partners a framework to combat supply chain risk.   

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Using a combination of self-evaluations and independent audits, and supported by training and research to evaluate effectiveness, the RCA program will utilize standards developed by private-sector industry experts, and involve voluntary compliance by vendors as well as  voluntary enforcement by multinationals.   It is based on the ISO Quality Management model.

USRBC will lend support for the RCA's private sector, voluntary enforcement system through educational and promotional efforts with its member companies. The goal of RCA's central audit process of local vendors is to offer global companies operating in Russia an independent 'seal of approval' for extensive vendor networks.

"Given the compliance requirements associated with amendments to Russia's Anti-Corruption Law (Article 13.3),  the United States' Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and the United Kingdom's Bribery Act, this initiative will be an enabling tool for our companies to manage risks associated with third parties when doing business in Russia," said USRBC President and CEO Dan Russell. "The USRBC is pleased to increase awareness about this program, which will serve as an enabler for greater transparency and sound business practices."

FCPA and the UK Bribery Act both hold companies responsible for the behavior of their third party agents. International legal practice makes it clear that companies may not claim ignorance of a third party paying bribes on their behalf if they have done nothing to prevent such malpractice in a high-risk environment. 

Patricia Dowden, President and CEO of the Center for Business Ethics and Corporate Governance, an organization that was pivotal in the creation of the RCA, said "This approach creates obvious efficiencies for both vendors and customers.  It also offers legal protection to multinationals and market incentives to vendors."

A recent study by Control Risks Group found that only approximately 50% of international companies surveyed that operating in Russia have due diligence procedures in place when selecting local business associates, despite the known risks.  Yet, risks associated with a company's relationship with third parties ranks second on a list of greatest concerns.

The RCA is a consortium of representatives from multinational and Russian companies, professional associations, universities, and non-commercial organizations.  For more information about the RCA, please contact Patricia Dowden of the Center for Business Ethics and Corporate Governance, at dowden@ethicsrussia.org.

The U.S.-Russia Business Council (USRBC) has offices in Washington, DC, and Moscow, and provides strategic advice, advocacy and government relations support to its 220 members. Please see www.usrbc.org for more information.

SOURCE U.S.-Russia Business Council (USRBC)



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