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→ Oversight must not be traded for speed of response and rapid action

During the COVID-19 pandemic human lives have been put at risk by companies capitalizing on weaknesses in oversight systems by selling substandard or falsified goods and medical equipment. With the urgency of responding to the pandemic, internal compliance structures and third-party due diligence mechanisms have been unable to function adequately. In addition, many businesses are struggling to survive during lockdowns and emergency protocols. The small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), already disadvantaged by limited resources to cope and adjust to the crisis, are particularly vulnerable and risk facing corruption in emergency procurement-an obstacle they could not overcome (e.g. unable to pay the bribes required to win the tender). 

The pandemic highlights the urgent need to promote business integrity and a fair and transparent business environment to level the playing field for businesses of all sizes. Accountability and transparency are key principles of the United Nations Convention against Corruption and fundamental to recovering with integrity.


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