Singaporean corporations are more naive in their approach to anti-fraud and corruption practices in comparison to the Asia-Pacific average, a survey from global accountancy firm Ernst & Young has found.
According to the “Building a more ethical business environment survey,” only 17 percent of Singaporean respondents acknowledged that planned investments in new markets will expose the company to new risks, compared to an average of around 35 percent for the Asia-Pacific region.
“Companies in Singapore don’t necessarily lag behind in terms of anti-fraud and corruption practices; what we found is a disconnect between policies that companies already have in place and the enforcement of those policies,” said John Tudorovic, fraud investigation and dispute services partner at Ernst & Young.
According to E&Y, nearly two thirds of Singaporean executives surveyed said their companies’ anti-bribery and anti-corruption practices did not work well in practice, compared with an average of 48 percent for the Asia-Pacific region.
Furthermore, E&Y said their survey findings showed that a lack of regular training and management commitment to anti-bribery and anti-corruption policies was a cause for concern in Singapore.
Only 18 percent of Singaporean respondents said their management had strongly communicated their commitment to their anti-bribery and anti-corruption measures, compared with an average of 35 percent for the Asia-Pacific region.
Common procedures used to tackle fraud and corruption, such as whistle blowing and technology like forensic due diligence, were also not common practice in Singapore, the survey found.
While 71 percent of Singaporean companies said they would be prepared to advocate whistle blowing, whereby employees can report insider knowledge of fraud or corruption through a protected procedure, only 17 percent actually operate such schemes.