While the voting procedure for the 2018 SAFETY4SEA Awards is open, Mrs. Cecilia Müller Torbrand, Program Director for the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN), explains what makes this project, which has been shortlisted in the ‘Sustainability’ category alongside a number of other distinguished nominees, unique for the maritime industry. Mrs. Torbrand notes that corruption cannot be easily or quickly eradicated, however, the support of the project by other organizations – counting approx. 100 members – is a positive sign toward addressing it. Currently, MACN has shed its focus on promoting a global anonymous incident reporting system for seafarers while it looks for further developing its projects in the Suez Canal, Nigeria, Indonesia, and Argentina and starting a new one in India. Mrs Torbrand also highlights that the collection of data related to corruption incidents and lessons learned are vital for both project prioritization and impact assessment.
SAFETY4SEA: Your organization has been shortlisted for the 2018 SAFETY4SEA Awards in the ‘Sustainability’ category alongside a number of other distinguished nominees. What is the background and the key drivers behind this nomination/shortlisting?
Cecilia Müller Torbrand: Corruption is something that impacts the work and lives of seafarers all over the world. It makes the industry less safe, less profitable, and less sustainable. Even petty corruption inhibits the development of countries where shipping is the key to sustainable growth and development. What makes the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN) unique, and what has driven our nomination, is the fact that our strategy and collective actions are industry driven. It is no small achievement to get shipping companies to agree to work together, and to collectively take on the risk of saying ‘no’ to corrupt practices.
S4S: When it comes to tackling the shipping challenges with respect to sustainable shipping, what are the key priorities on your agenda?
C.M.T: For all our anti-corruption projects we identify high-priority ports and locations, undertake a root cause analysis, and develop a plan of action with MACN members, local stakeholders, and government organisations. Each initiative we undertake has a focus on local requirements and challenges. In Nigeria this has included the training of local port officials, harmonized port procedures and a disputes/grievance process; in Indonesia, the development and implementation of cargo tracking software; and in the Suez Canal an MACN member driven say ‘no’ campaign. The lessons from each of these campaigns, what worked and what didn’t, are shared with the industry through anti-corruption tool kits and ongoing membership liaison.
S4S: What is your organization doing differently and/or more effectively in order to prepare for a more sustainable future?
C.M.T: With close to 100 of the top shipping companies being members of MACN, we now represent a significant percentage of the global fleet. We have not needed international MoUs or government regulation to take the initiative to fight corruption. MACN is the shipping industry pushing for tangible and measurable change by engaging with governments and local stakeholders.
S4S: Do you have any new projects on the pipeline and/or plans, related with your safety performance that you would like to share with the industry?
C.M.T: Corruption is not something that can be easily or quickly eradicated, and our projects in the Suez Canal, Nigeria, Indonesia, and Argentina will continue to develop. In terms of new initiatives we are in the process of starting a project in India, and will look to expand and promote our global anonymous incident reporting system for seafarers. The collection of data around incidents of corrupt payment demands, and their effect on crew, is vital for both project prioritization and impact assessment.
S4S: If you could change one thing about the shipping industry, what would it be and why?
C.M.T: Predictability. Certainly in terms of in-port regulations and operational process. Any time rules and/or processes are open to interpretation, it increases the work and risk for company, vessel, and crew. Our initial assessment in Nigeria showed a visiting vessel needed 142 signatures to process a call at a particular port. Unfortunately this is not an uncommon scenario for crew and onshore operations staff.
You may cast your vote for MACN at 2018 SAFETY4SEA Awards dedicated webpage till 7th of September 2018!
The views presented hereabove are only those of the author and not necessarily those of SAFETY4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion purposes only.
About Cecilia Müller Torbrand
Cecilia is the Program Director for the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN) and was one of the front drivers for its establishment in 2011. Cecilia has served as chair of the network and as collective action lead in the MACN Steering committee. Prior to joining BSR in leading MACN, Cecilia built more than eight years of compliance and shipping experience by working in-house as senior compliance officer in the Maersk Group. She has been responsible for anti-corruption efforts globally; trained management and staff worldwide; implemented whistle blowing systems; rolled out country-specific anti-corruption campaigns; and conducted risk assessments, audits, and misconduct investigations. In 2015 she was awarded Compliance Officer of the Year by C5 Women in Compliance Awards.