Patrick Kron, Chairman and CEO of Alstom, addressed the audience of the 9th European Business Ethics Forum (EBEF) on 23 February 2012 in Paris. After underlining Alstom’s own achievements in the field of ethics and compliance, Patrick Kron highlighted the commitment of the OECD countries in the fight against corruption while ensuring fair competition.
“Today, the general trend is to strengthen legal frameworks”, he stated. “We consider that we fully comply with all the recent new requirements, such as the UK’s Bribery Act, for instance. We appreciate that the most influential countries, namely the members of the G20, fully support the fight against corruption. However, to avoid unacceptable distortions of competition, it is crucial that all OECD countries apply consistently identical rules, and that the non-OECD countries belonging to the G20 join and implement those same principles. There cannot be good business if competition is not fair”.
He upheld the idea that the B20, the business counterpart of the G20, should request the set-up of an “early warning system”. Such a system would allow companies participating in a public tender to alert high-ranking third parties within governments if the procurement process is not considered transparent or fair. In addition, Patrick Kron spoke for an increased cooperation between companies, as well as with their suppliers.
The European Business Ethics Forum (EBEF) is a yearly event whichaims to not only develop ethics rules within companies but also to promote a cooperative dialogue on ethics between governments and businesses. The event is organised by three think tanks: the Cercle Ethique des Affaires (CEA) in France, the Ethics & Compliance Officer Association (ECOA) in the US and the Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) in the UK. It only gathers ethics and compliance managers from large companies.
Over the last few years, Alstom has consistently strengthened its ethics rules and strictly applied its ethics processes of doing business, framed by its Alstom Integrity Programme. Alstom is among the best-in-class companies in the field of ethics: the independent agency, ETHIC Intelligence, with the support of the Swiss audit company SGS, granted Alstom its certification in 2009, and renewed it in 2011 for another 2 years.
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