Corruption and bribery distort trade, undermine the free flow of goods and services and inhibit economic growth. Canada and other leading trading nations have taken concerted action to fight corruption, and EDC has a strong role to play in supporting their efforts.
We’ve made a corporate commitment to zero tolerance – simply put, we will not support business obtained through bribery or corruption.
As a member state of the OECD, Canada has passed the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act, which guides us. EDC is also a member of the OECD Working Party on Export Credits and Credit Guarantees and is bound by the OECD Recommendation on Bribery and Officially Supported Export Credits (OECD Recommendations).
EDC underwriting and business development staff conduct corruption screening on transactions. Enhanced due diligence is undertaken by a specialized team if screening reveals potential concerns. In most cases, issues relate not to our Canadian customers, but to their foreign buyers, third-party entities or projects they may be supplying.
We created an anti-corruption program to build awareness among employees and customers of the international conventions and Canadian laws addressing corruption. The program includes a requirement for customers to submit anti-corruption declarations and/or accept relevant provisions in their contracts to help ensure that EDC upholds its commitments.
Awareness of corruption risks is low among Canadian exporters and we devote significant resources to educating them. EDC’s President writes to all new customers to remind them of their legal obligations and provide guidance. We also offer compliance tools, videos and webinars, and we publish newsletter articles with some in partnership with TRACE International on exportwise.ca.
Learn more about our approach
An independent external review requested by the Minister of International Trade found EDC’s anti-corruption program, as designed and implemented, was sound and appropriate for achieving the principal objective of complying with the OECD Recommendations, and complies with or exceeds EDC's obligations under the OECD Recommendations. Findings and recommendations for continuous improvement to better align with emerging best practices were presented to EDC’s senior management and Board of Directors.
We began to implement some of the review recommendations, including streamlining assessment processes; creating more descriptive, intuitive risk ratings to improve decision-making and understanding of the total risk picture when evaluating a transaction; and improving staff training, particularly for business development and underwriting staff.
As part of its Enterprise Risk Management implementation, EDC created a new Compliance & Ethics group, which among other things, is responsible for overseeing and monitoring our compliance with laws, regulations and standards related to anti-corruption and anti-bribery. See Ethics and Transparency for more information about the Compliance & Ethics group.
EDC supported key initiatives to raise private sector awareness of bribery and corruption and to offer practical tools to help combat and manage the risks. In this regard, EDC sponsored Transparency International Canada’s annual dialogue on anti-corruption trends, compliance programs and enforcement actions, and contributed to an e-Book, Designing An Anti-Corruption Program: A Guide for Canadian Businesses, published by the Global Compact Network Canada.
Where We’re Going
Implementation of the external review recommendations will continue in 2016 and 2017, and involve the financial crimes team in our new Compliance and Ethics Group. EDC will also participate in the OECD review of its Recommendation on Bribery and Officially Supported Export Credits, which was adopted in 2006.