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Fighting corruption and promoting integrity in SOEs
Fighting corruption and promoting integrity in SOEs
August 2018

State-owned enterprises (SOEs) are a main conduit for states to exercise their roles as an economic actors. The benefits of SOE ownership are economic, political and social. So too are the costs when mismanagement or abuse occurs.

Today, SOEs account for 22% of the world’s largest companies and their role as global competitors is growing as the boundaries of markets increasingly extend beyond geographic borders. They are often concentrated in sectors with strategic importance for the state and society and are increasingly operated like private firms.

The more pronounced presence of SOEs in the global marketplace has been marked by certain high-profile scandals and occasional evidence of a susceptibility of SOEs to corruption. This raises questions about what might make SOEs susceptible to corruption and how policy makers can act to maximise their productivity by raising their integrity.

This report brings a comprehensive set of facts and figures to the discussion about the corruption risks facing SOEs and how they, and state ownership, go about addressing them. The report suggests options to help the state as an enterprise owner fight corruption and promote integrity in the SOE sector, laying the foundation for future OECD guidance on the subject.

Key findings
The most-often observed instances of corruption involve non-management employees and mid-level managers
Oil and gas, mining, postal, energy and transportation and logistics are the sectors where corrupt and other irregular practices are most often observed
The greatest obstacles to integrity with SOEs are relations with the government (including a perceived lack of integrity in the public and political sector), and employee behaviour (including opportunistic behaviour by individuals).