GetGovernanz – one year on

Last Updated on Friday, 18 June, 2021 at 11:46 am by Andre Camilleri

Andrew Naudi – director at GetGovernanz, part of the Nouv Group

Never as much as in the past year or so, has the subject of governance been so referred to and discussed both at corporate level but also, and more importantly, at a societal one.

By now, I think anyone who does not recognise the paramount value of good governance to society and the way of showing that things are best done above board, must be in total denial.

Having said that, I am also very certain that there are many who still do not fully appreciate its importance and the ramifications that a lack of good governance brings upon a country’s and organisation’s reputation. And if there are people who think that we have learnt our lessons and the chapter is closed, they are in denial too.

In the midst of all this, I am proud to be part of a financial services company that continues to see a way forward, to the extent that it has taken an active role in promoting the importance of good governance with the setting up of GetGovernanz.

For any financial services company, the notion of governance should be of paramount value. We not only uphold this value, but we also want to instil it among the clients we service and work with. Therefore, we set up this initiative not only as part of our ESG efforts, but also a tangible contribution towards promoting this important value in our society.

Our effort is bearing some interesting fruit. Under our corporate umbrella, GetGovernanz’s 2020 strategy focused on the development of training programmes that reflect our strengths and that of our partners in this initiative ‒ the International Due Diligence Organisation and the American Anti-Corruption Institute.

We believe that the international “footprint” that our partners bring to the equation gives GetGovernanz an edge because the philosophy that backs our initiative is the same one being delivered in other countries, often where there are serious large-scale issues of corruption and money laundering. We are therefore able to draw from this international experience acquired by our trainers and apply what we learn to our training.

We are also hopeful because GetGovernanz has found the backing of important institutions such as the Malta Chamber with whom we have managed to successfully conclude an agreement which last year saw GetGovernanz provide a series of open webinars to its members and the general public on anti-corruption and related subjects.

Currently, we are now piloting one of our core training programmes, Due Diligence Master Class, sponsored by the Ministry for Finance’s National Coordinating Committee on Combating Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism and we are conducting advisory services including local and International Corporate Governance Assessments.

The road towards a recovery of our collective reputation however, both as a country and as a financial jurisdiction, remains a long one. The “cautious” approval to date, given to Malta by Moneyval, was an outcome intended to send a “not bad” but “much more to do” message. This has as much to do with optics as it has to do with substance. I refer here to the lack of accountability by politicians who have not yet collectively taken responsibility for the events of the past.

Being effective means showing demonstrable achievements and failures to hold accountable all those who were directly and/or indirectly knowledgeable of and/or were party to corrupt practices, will continue to undermine the trust by investors and it is my opinion that there is little evidence that “lessons” have been learned from this sad chapter of events.

But as I said, we still see hope and we believe that it all needs to start from educating our younger generation. Only this can help us reverse the culture that has allowed many to accept bad practices and corrupt behaviour as the norm. We shall wait and see.

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