Even the mere allegation of bribery or corruption can severely damage the reputation of any business associated with questionable practices. Therefore, it’s essential to have in place systems to manage your compliance with anti-bribery rules, checking not only for obvious issues but also for potential ‘blind spots’ where you may not realise you are carrying risks.
When was the last time your organisation undertook a corruption risk assessment?
Despite the fact that all employees involved in corporate bribery can face lengthy jail terms, many businesses take a reactive, unstructured approach to fighting corruption risks according to an EcoVadis study of more than 20,000 companies across 100 countries and 150 industries. With increasingly complex, international supply chains, it is key to take a proactive approach to checking for risks and being aware of common pitfalls.
Why do these risks matter?
The penalties for committing a bribery offence can include unlimited fines and imprisonment for individuals involved. Despite these significant risks, a report commissioned by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) highlighted a considerable lack of awareness of the Act among SMEs.
A former Managing Director of a UK interior design business was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment and disqualified as a director for six years, convicted of failing to prevent bribery.
Smith and Ouzman Ltd Directors were fined £2.2 million after being found guilty of bribing officials to win business contracts.