Adequate Procedures, Bribery Act & Proceeds of Crime - Written by on Tuesday, August 28, 2012 15:43 - 0 Comments

The real compliance nightmare. Badly thought out compliance requests. Share yours with us!

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Today we were doorstepped by in house counsel about the tsunami of questionnaires they are now faced with post Bribery Act seeking their confirmation of compliance with the Bribery Act.

12 months after the implementation of the Bribery Act some have adopted a blanket approach.

Letters and emails are being sent demanding all suppliers must confirm compliance with the Bribery Act.

Some are now receiving (or sending) forests of forms, questionnaires and other missives demanding that the recipients confirm compliance.

Few have thought about what they will do with the answers, or lack of them, they receive.

Where is the risk assessment in asking all your suppliers to confirm in writing their compliance?

Putting to one side that we have yet to meet a fraudster who wouldn’t happily sign anything (that’s the point…) some of the requests just don’t add up.

Where is the sense in asking a London Stock Exchange (or for that matter NASDAQ or NYSE etc.) public company to notify immediately if any of its shareholders is, directly or indirectly, a foreign public public official.

Really?

How would they know when the bulk of their shareholders are held in nominee omnibus accounts?

Ill advised, then, to cite such a circumstance as a ground for immediate termination…

Requests demanding compliance with the enclosed corporate ABC compliance policy – which the sender did not enclose – are legion.

We even came accross one example where a thoughtful corporate, worried that it might not receive replies had the foresight to deem acceptance of confirmation conditions if they did not hear from the recipient by the deadline…!

Genius.

Until someone asks: “so you only received replies from 10% of those you wrote to and assumed everyone else confirmed compliance.  How did you verify that…?”

So, as a bit of fun: if you’d like tell us your compliance experiences 12 months on we’d like to hear from you.

Are you now deluged with requests for confirmation?

How do you deal with them?

We’d particularly love to hear of impractical requests you may have received for compliance confirmations.

If we receive enough – we’ll publish them on an anonymised basis – to protect the innocent.

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