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Support to set up Transparency International Norway

August 28, 2002, 01:00 CEST

Hydro has joined forces with Telenor and Statoil to set up the Norwegian chapter of Transparency International, an independent organization that fights corruption. The companies will contribute NOK 250,000 each in the start-up period.

Rolf Lunheim, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility in Hydro, underlines that there are no strings attached to the financial support to the Norwegian chapter of Transparency International.

"Transparency International's work in Norway will not in any way be controlled by the companies that provide financial support, and active steps are being taken to give the organization a wider financial basis. Our contribution is primarily a signal that the question of corruption is also important in Norway and for Norwegian companies," he says.

Corruption is widespread...

- Corruption is a considerable obstacle in the fight against poverty and the development of sustainable economic and social development. Corruption is widespread in both developing and industrial countries; a problem that Hydro meets in many areas where it operates.

"Corruption is an obstacle to healthy economic competition and favorizes decisions that are not based on best product at best price. Considerations of price and quality are not, therefore, the decisive factors in the market, and both customer and society as a whole lose out," Lunheim points out.

"Any measures that reduce corruption are, therefore, positive. Transparency International's fight against corruption, focusing amongst other things on bribes, has a practical approach and produces concrete results. The organization focuses on building coalitions between public authorities, the private sector and civil society in the fight against corruption.

"Transparency International has a high level of expertise and dedicated members with a great deal to offer international business life. The fact that this issue is taken up and worked with in Norway, can only be positive," he says.

FACTS

  • Transparency International was founded in 1993 and is the only global, non-state, non-profit organization working to reduce national and international corruption.
  • Transparency International now has 87 national chapters around the world. The organization's international secretariat is in Berlin.
  • Jan Borgen, former director of Amnesty International Norway has been appointed as general secretary of the Norwegian chapter, while Jannik Lindbæk, also chairman of the board in the bank DnB, is chairman of the board.
  • Transparency International has drawn up a corruption index that lists countries according to the extent to which corruption is perceived to be widespread among employees and politicians. The corruption index for 2002 was published 28 August.
Visit Transparency International on the net