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The term Business Integrity (Business Integrity) refers to the existence of a framework of ethical rules, structures and policies based on strict compliance with the laws regulating economic activities as well as additional optional self-regulation instruments (such as business ethics principles, codes of ethics and anti-corruption policies) which set out the rules of conduct of companies and their interaction with the external environment (including business partners/suppliers/subcontractors, customers/clients, public bodies, business associations, lobbyists, media). This framework of rules must go hand in hand with the creation of bodies to monitor their implementation.

The concept actually brings together two separate spheres which are interrelated.

he first sphere is “PREVENTION AND COUNTERING CORRUPTION RISKS“, which covers the following: measures to counter the offering and receiving of bribes; prevention and conflict of interest management; gifts and hospitality policy; protection of whistleblowers; combating money laundering.

The second sphere can be entitled “GOOD BUSINESS MANAGEMENT“ (by analogy with the term „good governance“ used in the public sphere). This covers several topics which can be provisionally divided into: responsible management - including the protection of physical and financial assets, establishing rules governing business processes and protection of intellectual property; the second big topic is compliance with international auditing standards - accountability, accuracy of accounting records.

A business integrity program must contain several obligatory elements. These are : 1) developing a set of business ethics principles taking into account the company’s values and the specificities of the sector in which it operates; 2) developing codes of ethics; 3) developing rules and procedures for the implementation of the ethical norms; 4) designating bodies responsible for the implementation of the ethical norms; 5) developing policies implementing the ethical norms; 6) training on the substance and advice on the implementation of ethical norms; 7) setting up mechanisms to control  implementation.

The benefits of introducing a business integrity program can be divided into three groups: internal processes, regulations and possibilities for new partnerships.

The internal processes benefits of a business integrity program include enhanced management, improved staff selection, less staff turnover and better productivity and quality of work.

The regulations benefits are the most obvious ones – namely, reducing the risk of violations and avoiding sanctions.

The third group which stands to benefit from a business integrity program concerns the possibility to form new partnerships. Most big companies set the adoption and implementation of business integrity standards as a prerequisite for future partnerships. The new business opportunities lead to better financial performance which in turn facilitates access to capital. This results in increased consumer confidence, better corporate image and a higher number of returning customers.