Integrity Audits are an essential risk management tool.
Corporate ethics have become a major board-level issue. This is due as much to the growing scale of losses from internal misconduct as to the often eye-watering fines meted out by regulators.
There are also many other ways in which an organisation’s ethics can affect its credibility, profitability and even viability, which is why Integrity Audits are increasingly becoming an essential risk management tool.
An integrity audit is an independent assessment of the extent to which current practices and attitudes within an organisation are consistent with both its stated values and the ethical standards which the law, customers, shareholders, employees and other stakeholders expect of it.
Sound policies alone are clearly not enough to ensure ethical behaviour.
Many corporate values are open to wide interpretation in different cultural contexts.
Procedures which are effective in one business unit may not work at all in the next.
What foreign investors may regard as just and reasonable may be perceived by locals as exploitative.
Employee ambitions can pose as much of a hazard as irresponsibility and ignorance, by obscuring normal ethical limits.
More challenging still is unwitingly unethical behaviour prompted by unconscious bias, grouthink and cross-cultural miscommunication.
What we do
EEE Lex undertakes professional, confidential appraisals of clients’ vulnerability to ethical oversights and lapses, particularly as regards -
what employees at different levels believe is expected of them;
whether, when and to what extent they are motivated to comply;
how staff usually deal with ethical dilemmas and conflicts of interest;
the risks that these attitudes and practices pose for the client;
the adequacy of existing measures to promote ethical behaviour; and
how management might set about addressing any vulnerabilities.
This invariably takes us into issues related to governance, compliance, reporting, risk management, stakeholder relations and corporate responsibility – in all of which our expertise and experience in Africa is second to none.
We also have much experience of probing what people really think and why they act the way they do.
Our audits are far more than mere checklists of observations. We explain and analyze our findings so as to provide a coherent, rational basis for appropriate interventions, and we set out in clear, jargon-free terms how these might best be implemented and proactively managed.