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International

How biased are you about bribery (or anything else)? Watch the first video. Then read the post and find out. By Etai Biran

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJG698U2Mvo Being aware of our biased behavior during the information selection stage has significant implications on the rest of the decision making process. Selecting the right information to form a decision will have great impact on the decision’s outcome. Using the wrong information to evaluate a situation will have a “domino effect” on the rest of the decision making process and will eventually lead to bad judgment and bad decisions. If the information selection process is biased it may well be that the final decision turns out to be a bad one because it was based on wrongful information all along. Moreover, biased behavior during this stage is likely to “contaminate” our judgment with biased behavior in the following stages of the decision making process as well. Therefore, high awareness and avoidance of biased behavior should be recognized as a top priority in this stage. Availability bias: People assess the frequency, probability or ...

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Sectors

Significant jail term in Edinburgh construction works bribery case

By Tom Stocker, Partner, Corporate Crime & Investigations, Pinsent Masons LLP Yesterday, two former employees of Edinburgh Council and two directors of a construction company received significant jail sentences for bribery contrary to The Public Bodies Corrupt Practices Act 1889 (the legislation that pre-dates the Bribery Act 2010). The council employees helped award contracts to Edinburgh Action Building Contracts Ltd (ABC Ltd) and in return they received extensive hospitality including corporate seats at Hibs and Hearts football grounds, meals out and visits to lap dancing bars as well as cash.  Invoices were then inflated to cover the cost of the hospitality. The charges related to the maintenance of council buildings from 2006 to 2010. Council worker Charles Owenson was sentenced to 4 years and 4 months for accepting bribes. The sentencing Sheriff considered that, despite Mr Owenson's guilty plea, the plea-in-mitigation put forward on his behalf  demonstrated that Mr Owenson had not accepted ...

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News & what’s on

Opinion: As UK DPA Mania & rumour mill sets in. Pundits fundamentally misunderstand the SFO & UK regime

Sky announces Barclays is in DPA negotiations.  Barclays issues a statement: "We are not in a position to comment on an ongoing legal matter, save to clarify that there has been no offer made of a DPA," the bank said in a statement. It made no further comment. Later the FT published a story about a rumour that the SFO has entered into DPA negotiations with two groups in the UK. Irrespective of the truth of the FT story, and some sources have poured scorn over it, there are a couple of interesting things about it. First, the fact of the story itself.  The DPA Code sets out that negotiations must be kept confidential. "Where P agrees to engage in DPA negotiations, the prosecutor should send P a letter setting out the way in which the discussions will be conducted. This letter should make undertakings in respect of: i. the confidentiality of the fact that DPA negotiations are ...

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Bribery Act & Proceeds of Crime

Information Processing Biases – Continued (By Etai Biran)

In the last post we discussed two biases that often occur in the information processing stage of the decision making process: representativeness bias and conservatism and herding Bias (see: here). This week we will discuss the anchoring bias and framing bias that may occur in this stage: Anchoring: The anchoring bias describes a human tendency to rely on an initial piece of information offered to us (the “anchor”) when making decisions. After the anchor has been set, a decision an individual makes becomes relative to the anchor (which might be an irrelevant point of reference to the decision in hand). Often, when people realize that an anchor is irrelevant to the decision in hand, they still find it hard to adjust away from the anchor. The anchor leads people to create reasons and access information that is consistent with that anchor and avoid information that is inconsistent with it. To demonstrate the anchoring ...

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Your Questions: Answered

My company has entered into contracts with FIFA. Should I be doing anything?

Question My company has entered into various contracts over the years with FIFA.  I read with alarm last week the news stories about the arrests of FIFA officials in Switzerland. The US has signalled more arrests are likely and the Swiss prosecutor is also investigating. Should I be worried that my business may be drawn into the FIFA investigation and should I be doing anything now? Yours, Anon. The short answer Expect more revelations.  So far the enforcement action in the public domain focusses on the alleged bribe recipients – expect the suspected bribe payers to be targeted next and under the full glare of publicity. A head in the sand approach is never the best option. Businesses who have negotiated licencing deals etc. with FIFA would be well advised to run some basic checks (speak to a lawyer before you do to make sure the checks don’t create legal problems) to confirm their deals are not tainted. The longer ...

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