News & what's on - Written by on Sunday, March 10, 2013 11:10 - 1 Comment

One for the half of UK PLC who are reckless gamblers: A stitch in time saves nine!

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Only half of British businesses vet their suppliers for UK Bribery Act compliance, according to Ernst & Young.

As readers know we are pint glass half full people.  So, this statistic alone is not horrendous and it chimes with other surveys we’ve run and our anecdotal experience.

But we’d like to see some improvement with more businesses vetting suppliers.

Back to the E&Y survey – only 6% would re-tender if they discovered their suppliers were not compliant.  Frankly, this statistic begs the question why the businesses who would take no action if they uncover compliance issues bother with due diligence at all.

12% of firms would ‘do nothing’ if they found out that their suppliers failed to comply with the Act.  Bravo. In a health and safety nanny state thank goodness there are some adrenaline junkies out there looking for a fix.

While these statistics from Ernst & Young were written up fairly extensively last week they are worth repeating.   A brief shout out to E&Y who have been putting out some useful statistics and learning when it comes to the Bribery Act since its inception.  Hat tip and well done.

Back to the report.

John Smart of Ernst and Young said on publication of the report:

“Many businesses are underestimating the reach of the UK Bribery Act. Our findings reveal that there is still a lot of work to be done in this area to ensure that directors and senior managers not only realise the importance of complying with the Act, but also are willing to examine whether their entire supply chain is meeting these same standards. Anyone who thinks that the issue of third-party compliance can simply be glossed over is making a grave mistake, as failures in this area can lead to significant fines and penalties for all involved.”

Whether businesses take prudent steps to reduce risk or, on the other hand, opts for the risky gamble option is of course a matter of personal choice.

For the 50% of UK PLC who have chosen to go for the casino option we do live in a free country for the time being.  But. If  they violate the Bribery Act and a prosecutor argues senior officers are liable for turning a blind eye they will probably find their freedoms curtailed.

A stitch in time, may not be glamorous, but it might save a nine year stretch…


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Weekly Roundup | i-Sight
Mar 15, 2013 5:00

[…] While lots of bloggers wrote about the Ernst and Young study that revealed that half of UK companies don’t vet their suppliers, I liked the writers, Barry Vitou and Richard Kovalevsky, who referred to the delinquent companies as reckless gamblers. […]

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