"Skip to main content"

Reiten meets Transparency International founder

October 22, 2003, 14:00 CEST

Hydro chief Eivind Reiten met with the founder/leader of global anti-corruption group Transparency International, Peter Eigen, in Oslo on Tuesday for informal talks.

"We're very happy to have Hydro's support," said a smiling Eigen after the meeting.

"We're very happy to support Transparency International - and happy to be on board," Reiten replied.

Eigen and Reiten discussed various topics, including Hydro's implementation of TI's recently published "Business Principles for Countering Bribery," and a TI-developed "Integrity Pact," urging companies engaged in extractive industries tenders to exercise transparency and anti-bribery practices.

"We're using the 'Business Principles for Countering Bribery' in the development of our own anti-bribery guidelines ... and exploring the 'Integrity Pact' in closer detail," said Rolf Lunheim, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility in Hydro.

TI's "Business Principles for Countering Bribery," is a practical guide for small, medium and large companies on "countering bribery, creating a level playing field and providing a long-term business advantage."

TI also publishes a yearly "Corruption Perceptions Index" that lists countries according to the extent of widespread corruption perceived among employees and politicians.

Curbing corruption

Transparency International was founded in 1993 and is the world's only international non-state, non-profit organization working to eliminate national and international corruption. TI's stated mission is "to curb corruption by mobilizing a global coalition to promote and strengthen international and national Integrity Systems."

Based in Berlin, TI has 87 national chapters around the world. Hydro and two other Norwegian companies joined forces in 2002 to form the Norwegian chapter, headed up by Jan Borgen.

"Corruption is one of the greatest challenges of the contemporary world," TI states. "It undermines good government, fundamentally distorts public policy, leads to the misallocation of resources, harms the private sector and private sector development and particularly hurts the poor.

"Controlling it is only possible with the cooperation of a wide range of stakeholders in the integrity system, including most importantly the state, civil society, and the private sector. There is also a crucial role to be played by international institutions."