The Pearl Initiative works to support organisations navigating  new Compliance and Culture issues in a (post)-COVID world

Organisations urged to integrate transparency and accountability in their corporate compliance systems during a global pandemic

United Arab Emirates (UAE), 23 November 2020: The Pearl Initiative, the leading non-profit organisation promoting a corporate culture of accountability and transparency across the Gulf Region Private Sector, announces its continued commitment towards fostering a corporate culture of accountability and transparency through its flagship Anti-Corruption Best Practices programme launched in 2015.

The global pandemic and the complications of navigating business through the complex social, economic and environmental complexities has resulted in a growing focus on the joint responsibility between the business functions of compliance, legal, and human resources regarding the direction of a company’s culture and whether the organisation and its employees act with integrity.

As part of its programme delivery, the Pearl Initiative in collaboration with GoodCorporation, a global ethical-business consultancy, held eight webinarsto address the importance of anti-corruption practices within organisations. The webinar series, titled ‘Combating Corporate Corruption’ covered key topics around Due Diligence, Risk Assessment, Finance and Procurement, Whistleblowing and more. These discussions were supported by over one hundred, extensive, anti-bribery and corruption research assessments conducted to date. Participants also had the opportunity to engage with subject matter experts. The series along with other webinars related to the programme and the activity of the Pearl Initiative can be viewed on-demand at Pearl Initiative’s YouTube channel – www.youtube.com/pearlinitiative

The successful webinar series demonstrated the impact that can be achieved through rigorous and well-embedded Anti-Bribery and Corruption programmes and encouraged organisations to take note of the increasingly higher standards needed, to fully adopt these frameworks. Organisations that flounder in their endeavours to implement an effective Anti-Corruption Best Practices Programme will experience stagnancy in the sustainable growth of their organisations.

Through the Anti-Corruption Best Practices Programme, Pearl Initiative stakeholders are made aware of the pressing issues in the Anti-Corruption sphere, can obtain a deeper understanding of corporate ethical practices and acquire the necessary skills to adapt their ABC frameworks.

Yasmine Omari, Executive Director of the Pearl Initiative, said, “to end corporate corruption, we need to promote transparency, accountability and integrity both individually and collectively across all levels of business. The Anti-Corruption Best Practices Programme has proven to be successful in initiating the dialogue among business leaders and it is imperative for businesses to continue to engage with Anti-Corruption related initiatives, particularlyduring a global pandemic.”

Omari added: “There is a lot more to be done in this space, and we are extending an invitation for organisations across the Gulf Region to join our network and benefit from having a deeper understanding of corporate ethical practices and key pressing issues in the anti-corruption sphere. Our initiative provides tools to support organisations to independently and confidently evaluate their respective ABC policies and to lead a more open, transparent, stable and prosperous business environment. To this extent, we are convening the ‘Anti-Corruption Integrity Taskforce’ to engage key corporate actors and invite stakeholders to provide strategic inputs on the focus of the programme going forward and areas of concern for practitioners on the ground.”

The Pearl Initiative’s Anti-Corruption Best Practices programme commenced in 2015 in partnership with the Siemens Integrity Initiative. The programme has since advanced discussions as well as provided resources that encourage organisations to understand the inherent value of incorporating high levels of integrity and transparency within their organisation.

Founded in 2010, the Pearl Initiative is a business–led non-profit organisation promoting a corporate culture of accountability and transparency as key drivers of competitiveness and sustainable economic growth. The organisation develops programmes and publishes regional research reports and case studies to promote the implementation of higher standards of corporate governance amongst business and student communities across the Gulf Region

Siemens Integrity Initiative
Siemens has launched a global Siemens Integrity Initiative that supports organizations and projects fighting corruption and fraud through Collective Action, education and training with over US$ 100 million. The Siemens Integrity Initiative has awarded the Pearl Initiative $880,000 for a new regional programme to increase transparency and fight corporate corruption in 2015.

About the Pearl Initiative

Prominent business leaders from across the Gulf Region formed the Pearl Initiative in 2010 to create a non-profit vehicle for the Private Sector to collectively take the lead in adopting higher standards in corporate governance, accountability and transparency to enhance business innovation, opportunity and value creation.

With over 40 regional and international partners, the Pearl Initiative brings together business, government and civil society decision-makers to share best business practices and to help maximise the economic opportunities available to companies within the region. The Pearl Initiative also supports Gulf-based university students to identify and embrace strong ethics as they embark on their future careers.

The Pearl Initiative seeks joint collaborative action between regional and global business leaders, international institutions, government bodies and wider initiatives within the Gulf Region, exhibiting positive leadership and sharing knowledge and experience in order to influence regional business and student communities.