Accounting and accountability for anti-bribery: Evidence from a developing country [thesis]

Thi Hang Nguyen
The purpose of this thesis is to understand how accounting is used for controlling or facilitating foreign bribery in a developing country such as Vietnam, how stakeholders play a role in the fight against bribery, and what accountability measures have been taken in that fight. By using the surrogate accountability theory of Rubenstein (2007) , this thesis argues that it is important to have surrogates to help increase accountability for fighting against bribery in a developing country. This
more » ... ng country. This study uses qualitative research methodologies, including interviews and documentary research. Interviews with public officials, company executives, and experts were conducted to explore their views on bribery and the roles of the stakeholders in the fight against bribery in Vietnam. In the meantime, the documentary research was conducted to examine measures for anti-bribery and how accounting is used for controlling or facilitating foreign bribery in the case of Bio-Rad scandal. The findings indicate that while there were accounting and accountability measures (standards and policies) set to control bribery, these actually appeared as facilitating rather than controlling corporate bribery. Particularly, such measures were only applicable to the public sector, not the private sector. Moreover, bribery sanctioning measures applied to individuals rather than entities. They accidentally created a legal loophole that might enable bribery in private sector, limit corporate governance, and hinder efforts in fighting bribery in public sector. Through an examination of the notion of surrogate accountability, this thesis supports the view that the stakeholder groups as surrogates for victims of bribery such as companies which do not bribe and the local community, including international organizations and media can contribute to increasing accountability for preventing and sanctioning foreign bribery in Vietnam. iii This is the first known study that examines the role of accounting for bribery in Vietnam. It provides insights into the measures, especially accounting and accountability measures for fighting against bribery, and an analysis of how accounting can be used to facilitate bribery by a foreign company doing business in developing countries. It also highlights the roles of stakeholders in the fight against bribery. This thesis responds to the request of the Chairman of the National Assembly of Vietnam for enhancing accounting law to control bribery. Therefore, it is useful for policy-makers who are reviewing laws and regulations. The examination of the bribery case of Bio-Rad provides useful experiences for companies, managers and accountants who are seeking to improve corporate governance and control bribery more efficiently. iv
doi:10.5204/thesis.eprints.102233 fatcat:wedxadgo7bduta2lilbdm6vfmy