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SWI swissinfo.ch: Corruption: Swiss companies do well, public sector a worry

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Corruption
Swiss companies do well, public sector a worry

    Politics
    Law and order

This content was published on May 14, 2018 1:11 PM May 14, 2018 - 13:11
A man holds a 20 Swiss Francs bill in his hand

The Swiss branch of Transparency International says the country must step up its fight against corruption.
(Keystone)

A global business survey has found cases of graft and corruption to be less common among companies in Switzerland relative to other countries. But where the public sector is concerned, a corruption watchdog worries Swiss federal authorities are not doing enough to keep government institutions above reproach.

Accounting and Consulting Firm Ernst & Young (EY) conducted a global survey looking at companies involved in fraud and corruption cases. It found that only 6% of the Swiss companies surveyed had registered such cases in the past two years. The countries with higher rates of corruption included Ukraine (36%), Kenya (26%), Belgium or Russia (both 20%). Swiss companies reported fewer cases than Denmark and Germany (18%). The global average is 11%.

The EY study also asked managers what they thought of the situation regarding bribery and corruption in their country. In Switzerland, only 2% of respondents believed that these practices are widespread. That figure stands in sharp contrast with the findings for Brazil (96%), Colombia (94%) or Nigeria (90%), where managers overwhelmingly see corrupt methods as the order of the day.

Meanwhile, the Swiss branch of Transparency Internationalexternal link sent a letter to Switzerland’s top financial supervisory authorities raising concern over the efficacy of the nation’s anti-corruption body. The open letter, published on Monday, says the finance delegation of the Swiss parliament ignores serious shortcomings in the nation’s anti-corruption body and opposes urgent reforms.

Transparency International Switzerlandexternal link also called into question a decision to extend the mandate of the federal administration's anti-corruption body without making reforms or consulting the public. The letter noted that corruption cases occur regularly in Swiss institutions, including the federal government, pointing to the recent PostBus illegal subsidies scandal and procurement irregularities.

 + Background: Swiss PostBus company claimed millions in illegal subsidies

"Every case is one too many because, in every case, the taxpayer's money entrusted to the Confederation is misused,” read the letter. “The cases that have come to light are only the tip of the iceberg.”

There was no immediate response from the financial delegation of parliament.
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