Mongolia has tremendous reserves of natural resources, such as coal, copper, gold, uranium, and rare earths. The assets related to the extraction of these mineral resources entail significant corruption risks. The complex and lengthy negotiation processes for investment agreements, and the extensive and complicated regulations and procedures for licensing, environmental and community agreements, concessions, and other approvals, constitute further vulnerabilities to corruption. In addition, Mongolia’s legal framework related to the sector is very unstable. Laws and regulations change frequently, the licensing procedures are opaque, and the rule of law, especially in regard to negotiated contracts, is not sufficiently enforced. Political power games and a high turn-over of ministry staff, as well as staff of publicly owned companies, increase the potential for corruption problems.
TI-M has been working with the public sector as well as with civil society organizations for the past decade. Good relations were built with the municipality of Ulaanbaatar, the Independent Agency against Corruption, and a number of other public institutions. Despite these efforts, there are still many challenges to be solved and TI-M has recognized the necessity to engage the business community in the fight against corruption. By directly cooperating with the private sector, TI-M strives to improve corporate integrity of individual businesses and aims at building coalitions promoting an open, competitive, and transparent business environment.
TI-M has started the implementation of a Business Integrity Program (BIP) in 2015, pursuing the following long-term goals:
Prevent corruption in individual businesses through improved business ethics, corporate governance, and integrity practices;
Establish a community of good practice among businesses; and
Create a level playing field and clean business environment, engaging stakeholders from the private sector, the public sector, and civil society.
In all these efforts the mining sector plays a particularly important role, due to its importance to the Mongolian economy and its distinct vulnerabilities to corruption.
Business Integrity Country Agenda (BICA)
TI has developed a new tool, the Business Integrity Country Agenda (BICA), whose objective is to create a relevant body of evidence related to business integrity in a given country. It will serve as the basis for building a shared agenda for reform and a collective momentum for action. TI envisages that the BICA will become an important reference point for improving business integrity practices both within countries and globally. A pilot of the tool was conducted in Mozambique in 2015.
The implementation of the BICA will be carried out in two stages.