In Part 1 of this post, I described how business groups in the Philippines are taking advantage of an historic opportunity to transform the country’s image through a unique Integrity Initiative. In this post, I’ll describe some of the nuts and bolts, and our aspirations for the program.
Once the head of an organization signs The Integrity Pledge, the group then adopts the Unified Code of Conduct for Business and implements its provisions, after which it uses an online diagnostic tool to gauge how it’s faring in terms of complying with the Code.
The tool gives a rating that is then validated by volunteer auditors from the Integrity Initiative, which then gives feedback about what learning interventions would help to address areas for improvement.
Upon reaching the highest validated rating or Advanced level, the organization is ready for certification by the Integrity Initiative. The certification entails an ISO-like audit as a prerequisite.
The learning process an organization goes through to achieve certification is designed to achieve a change in culture starting from within the company and eventually influencing every entity that the company deals with to do business ethically.
Over the past four years since the Integrity Initiative was launched, the change towards building a culture of integrity in the Philippines has already resulted in positive developments, in the areas of competitiveness and credit-worthiness to name a few.
By demonstrating that an Integrity Compliance System can be an effective tool for fighting corruption and that a certification system can be adopted for ensuring that the system is working, we hope companies, as well as other organizations including non-profits, (and even governments) will give this campaign acceptance — not just at the regional level but internationally.
Our goal is to promote the Integrity Initiative model throughout ASEAN and eventually see the Integrity Certification system adopted worldwide.
Jose Solomon “Cortz” Cortez is the Project Coordinator for the Integrity Initiative and Project SHINE, and the Makati Business Club’s Special Projects Unit Manager. Recently he represented the Philippines as a plenary speaker during the Lightning Talks session of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Asia Pacific Regional Conference held recently in Bali, Indonesia.