Transparency International assesses Russian companies
Researchers have announced their assessment of the transparency of the top 200 Russian companies (according to the 2016 Russian Budget Code).
This was their first assessment of Russian business using the TRAC system (Transparency in Corporate Reporting) – full details of this system are given on the website of Transparency International. The system has been used by Transparency International since 2008 to evaluate large international companies, national companies and smaller businesses focusing on specific areas.
Experts have measured the performance of the companies against three criteria: corporate programmes in combating corruption, organisational transparency (disclosure of data about subsidiary companies) and data available about the countries in which they operate.
The research revealed a low level of transparency among the largest Russian companies in terms of their revenue: 41 companies did not score a single point on any one of the research criteria, only 32 companies scored 5 or more (out of a possible 10). The report states: “The most transparent area of operation was telecommunications, the most opaque were infrastructure construction, agriculture and food production. The area where all the companies scored the lowest was in their country of operation.
Transparency International – R advises companies to publish as much information as possible about their activities on a public forum, to comply with the latest anti-corruption regulations, regularly update their own anti-corruption programmes, publicly disclose payments for political work and circulate anti-corruption material to board members, senior management, people authorised to act on behalf of the company as well as to contractors and subcontractors. Companies are also encouraged to build anonymous, confidential channels for making complaints about corruption and to ensure complainants are properly protected, to distribute anti-corruption policies and guidelines to all their subsidiaries and to provide training in combating corruption.
Experts have also given separate recommendations to NGOs to promote transparency in their finances and expenditure on corporate social responsibility. Transparency International – R advises all welfare organisations to disclose information about all sources of funding and other forms of assistance from business and insists on periodic monitoring and investigations into their disclosures. These requirements reflect the expectation among the public that businesses should be ethical, socially responsible companies that work effectively with civil society.