When is a gift not a gift?
When it's a bribe. For many, corporate hospitality oils the wheels of commerce. But where do you draw the line? Bribes, incentives and inducements are not just a matter of used banknotes stuffed in brown envelopes. Expenses, corporate settlement of personal bills, gifts and hospitality can all be used to influence business partners, clients and contractors.
Can you afford unlimited fines?
Under the Bribery Act 2010, a maximum of ten years' imprisonment and an unlimited fine may be imposed for offering, promising, giving, requesting, agreeing, receiving or accepting bribes. With such strict penalties, it's astonishing that so few companies have few or no measures in place to ensure that they are not liable for prosecution. This is especially astonishing as the Ministry of Justice's Quick start guide to the Bribery Act makes it clear that "There is a full defence if you can show you had adequate procedures in place to prevent bribery." Such procedures can be found in BS 10500:2010, the British Standard for anti-bribery management systems (ABMSs).
How to implement an ABMS
An Introduction to Anti-Bribery Management Systems (BS 10500)explains how to implement an ABMS that meets the requirements of BS 10500, from initial gap analysis to due diligence management:
* An introduction to BS 10500
* An explanation of an ABMS
* Management processes within an ABMS
* Implementing an ABMS
* Risk assessment in due diligence
* Whistleblowing and bribery investigations
* Internal auditing and corrective action
* Certification to BS 10500
It provides helpful guidance on the importance of clearly defining policies; logging gifts and hospitality in auditable records; ensuring a consistent approach across the organisation; controls for contractors; facilitation payments; charitable and political donations; risk assessment in due diligence; whistle-blowing and bribery investigations; and internal auditing and corrective action.
Meet the stringent requirements of the Bribery Act
Not only will a BS 10500-compliant ABMS help your organisation prove its probity by meeting the stringent requirements of the Bribery Act, it can also be adapted to most legal or compliance systems. An ethical approach to business is not just a legal obligation but a way to protect your reputation.
About the author
Alan Field, MA, LL.B (Hons), PgC, MCQI CQP, MIIRSM, AIEMA, GIFireE, GradIOSH is a Chartered Quality Professional, an IRCA Registered Lead Auditor and member of the Society of Authors. Alan has particular expertise in auditing and assessing anti-bribery management systems to BS 10500 and public-sector counter-fraud systems to ISO9001. Alan has many years' experience with quality and integrated management systems in the legal, financial, property services and project management sectors in auditing, assessment and gap analysis roles.
Your company's integrity is important. An Introduction to Anti-Bribery Management Systems (BS 10500) shows you how to maintain and prove it.