The report recently issued by the Australian Crime Commission “Organised Crime and Drugs in Sport”, highlights the threat to Australian Sporting Organisations of failures in Corporate Governance.

A significant finding of the Australian Crime Commission is that the influence of organised crime on sport is increasing, with criminal groups involved in the trafficking of PIEDS (Performance and Image Enhancing Drugs) also engaged in money laundering, corruption, match fixing and fraud.

What are the key risks for you and your organisation?

Corruption, unethical behaviour, money laundering and fraud can occur unchecked due to the following:

Poor ‘Tone from the top’ Complacency and poor culture from the top creates an environment whereby people rationalise poor conduct as acceptable, notwithstanding any policies and procedures to the contrary.

Unidentified risks If you don’t know the risks of unethical behaviour, corruption, money laundering and fraud occurring in your organisation then you can’t adequately prevent such from harming your organisation.

Incomplete and/or ineffective internal controls Existing internal controls often don’t cover all the risks of unethical behaviour, corruption, money laundering and fraud or are not operating effectively thus ‘lulling you into a false sense of security’.

Trust but verify Unverified trust in your people and key relationships is a contributor to unethical behaviour, corruption, money laundering and fraud. Some of the greatest risks to your organisation come from your own people; your employees, agents, contractors and suppliers.

Lack of effective monitoring and oversight By those charged with responsibility for governance in your organisation, increases the risk that your Integrity Framework will or has failed to adequately protect your organisation.

What are the consequences for you?

Corruption, unethical behaviour, money laundering and fraud affect the organisation, its owners, directors, members, staff, players and supporters through:

Strategic paralysis Through requiring all stakeholders to focus on managing the damage created rather than driving the organisation forward.

Reputational damage Through exposure in media, investigations and other enforcement actions over long periods of time.

Financial loss Through cancelled sponsorships, memberships and advertising, fines, sanctions, reduced match attendance fees and merchandise sales.

Compliance breaches Through failure to adhere to legislative and regulatory duties and obligations, both corporate and personal resulting in civil or criminal sanction.

Historical notoriety Through all stakeholders being tarnished in perpetuity for being those involved with the scandal whether directly or merely by association.

Do you have the sufficient resources, priority and expertise to implement and maintain your Integrity Framework?

What sets Grant Thornton apart is our ability to draw upon core subject matter experts with direct experience with sporting organisations at the top level.

We can work with you to develop solutions appropriate for your organisation

What steps will you need to undertake?

  • A thorough risk assessment to identify and assess the risks of unethical behaviour, corruption, money laundering and fraud that would cause harm to your organisation.
  • Design and implement adequate mitigating controls to prevent, detect and respond to the risks of unethical behaviour, corruption, money laundering and fraud.
  • Design and implement a program of training, enforcement and continuous monitoring to ensure the organisation stays abreast of changing risks.