Microsoft has kicked off a global requirement for partners to be trained in anti-corruption practices, starting this month.
"We are requiring partners to provide anti-corruption training to all employees who resell, distribute, or market Microsoft products or services," according to a document provided to ChannelWeb by Microsoft.
"If your company does not already have anti-corruption training, you will have access to an online course through the partner learning centre to satisfy the requirement."
Microsoft UK declined to provide specific comment at this time on how the initiative will play out locally. However, the new requirement was flagged up in December in the last quarterly update of the vendor's partner programme.
The vendor has not explained what course material will be provided or what the cost will be for partners.
Media reports noted yesterday that the US Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission have been investigating allegations of bribery involving Microsoft partners in Romania and Italy, as well as China, Russia and Pakistan.
HP and IBM partners have also been the focus of previous allegations.
OEMs including IBM, Cisco and HP have already made anti-corruption training – focusing on a range of national anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws, and sometimes on grey market practices – a requirement for resellers.
That vendor's anti-corruption compliance programme includes a requirement for all third parties to adhere to several codes of business conduct for contingent workers, suppliers and partners.
These "serve as a compass and set non-negotiable expectations" for the behaviours, decisions and actions of HP and its personnel "every time and all the time", according to HP's overview of the programme.
All HP staff and partners must agree to abide by the appropriate codes of conduct, with training required "for everyone" each year. HP has an ethics and compliance office which oversees the programme.
In the UK, specific anti-corruption training targeting regulatory changes such as the Bribery Act is available for businesses from a range of third-party partnerships and services providers.
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