Bechtel received the top grade in Transparency International UK’s (TI-UK) Defence Companies Anti-Corruption Index
2015, which measures the transparency and quality of ethics and anti-corruption programs of 163 defense companies from 47 countries. Bechtel is one of only four companies that received the highest grade in the index, which ranked the firms from band A (highest) to F (lowest) using publicly available information.
“Transparency International UK’s independent measurement of ethics and anti-corruption programs contributes greatly to the fight against corruption,” said Nancy Higgins, Bechtel chief ethics and compliance
officer. “Third-party confirmation of a sound program encourages companies to continue their efforts.”
In releasing the report, TI-UK called on governments to require that contractors have ethics and anti-corruption
programs in place before bidding for defense work to bring forth greater accountability. “Corruption in defence affects us all. It is not just about commissions on sales—corruption can also directly threaten the lives of citizens and soldiers,” said Mark Pyman, Director of the Transparency International UK Defence and Security Programme.
TI-UK described ethics and compliance programs as “a company’s approach to promoting its ethical culture and reducing corruption risk.” The assessment of companies’ programs used a questionnaire of 41 indicators organized into five pillars: Leadership, Governance and Organization; Risk Management; Company Policy & Codes; Training; and Personnel and Helplines. The questions cover what TI-UK regards as the basic capabilities that a global defense company should have in place.
“The Index provides a road map for companies seeking to build an effective anti-corruption program
,” said Higgins. “More importantly, every company’s program can be strengthened by learning from the best practices of others.”