News & what's on - Written by on Monday, July 9, 2012 3:23 - 0 Comments

30% say they have lost out as a result of bribery

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Our one minute survey found that one in five thought the Bribery Act made UK PLC less competitive internationally.  A corresponding one in five said that they thought the Bribery Act made their businesses less likely to enter new markets.

The numbers confirm statistics from the results of the annual Global Fraud Survey published by Ernst & Young earlier this year.

The good news is that the overwhelming majority do not think the Bribery Act has damaged their ability to compete internationally.  Against the backdrop of the media storm which surrounded the Bribery Act last July when it entered into force the numbers are low.

The bad news is there are many who say the Bribery Act is bad news for UK PLC in international markets.

There is no doubt that in some markets businesses will face significant challenges when it comes to anti-bribery compliance.

Worse, nearly 30% said that their business had lost out as a result of suspected bribery in the last 12 months.

The statistics underscore the importance of enforcing the UK’s new anti-bribery laws.  When many businesses put in place systems and controls to prevent bribery there is a danger that unethical companies take advantage of the open goal to the detriment of ethical UK companies.

With a significant proportion of those surveyed claiming to have lost out as a result of bribery there is work to do.

Opinion

Politicians and government must fulfill their part of the deal.

UK government must help ethical businesses dealing in overseas markets which encounter problems.  Embassies and consulates need to be properly funded to enable them to assist UK companies to export ethically.

On the other side of the coin the new Bribery Act must be enforced and be seen to be enforced.  Enforcement agencies threaten organisations that policies and procedures must be embedded.  A paper policy is not enough.  Enforcement agencies, including the SFO need to be adequately resourced.

The same is true for the Bribery Act, it must be enforced or risk being seen as a paper tiger.

 

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