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The president of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has led calls for re-energised collaboration and commitment to combat corruption and bribery.
Addressing the OECD's anti-bribery ministerial meeting, IFAC president Olivia Kirtley noted that among an increasingly complex and interconnected world, strong collaboration and commitment is required from private, public and regulatory communities to fight corruption.
"For decades, the global accountancy profession – including auditors, and professional accountants in business and government – have supported the fight against bribery," said Ms Kirtley.
"Transparency, accountability and serving the public interest motivate our ongoing support for global reporting standards and ethical behaviour. These standards underpin the profession's role in detection of fraud, corruption and bribery – and strengthen organisations to assist in prevention."
Ms Kirtley highlighted the urgent need for greater international collaboration on whistle-blower protection laws.
"Realising the full potential of the profession's ethical and public interest foundations – such as having accountants go above and beyond their expected duty to consider situations where whistle-blowing might be appropriate – depends on consistent, comprehensive protections and robust corporate governance," she said.
"Bringing an end to the notion that 'silence is always safer' requires greater focus on strong governance and compliance structures, environments that are encouraging for self-reporting, and protections that apply to everyone working with any organisation or for any profession. We must all seek to empower individuals to do the right thing."