News & what's on - Written by on Monday, August 11, 2014 6:52 - 0 Comments

Holiday Reading: Book Review – How to pay a bribe 2014 Edited By Alexandra Wrage & Severin Wirz

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how to pay a bribeWe’re going to commit heresy.

Trace is a force for good and there is much in How to pay a bribe 2014 edited by Alexandra Wrage and Severin Kirz which is good.


It could be more, so much more.

Its contributors are well known, though the colourful Howard Sklar is absent in this edition,which is a shame.

For bribery geeks like us the book makes an interesting and enjoyable read.  There is much to take away too.  For those who do.

Want to understand bribery in China?

Amy Sommers take down with a focus on travel agents, the so-called white glove and gift cards is great and informative.

The ingenuity of Chinese bribe takers takes the biscuit, or the moon cake, or the lai see packet etc.

Likewise Musikilu Mojeed’s description of the customs bribery scams in Nigeria is a useful reminder of those who got it wrong and how.  It contains useful tips and advice on what to do if you are navigating the treacherous waters of Nigerian customs.

For those with rose tinted spectacles Daniel Smith’s description of his experience in obtaining vehicle registration documents in Nigeria should serve as a useful grounding. Likewise Matteson Ellis informs with his explanation of the underlying reasons for corruption in South America and Kathleen Hannan’s experience in life sciences.

In summary, the focus on bribery types across industries and geographies is extremely useful for compliance practitioners.

And yet.

The book, which represents contributions from 10 authors reads as though it has been written by 10 different people.  The trick would be to ensure consistency of presentation.  Make top tips for avoiding bribery schemes easier to find in a snap.

For our money we’d prefer if the book focussed on helping those charged with compliance in both understanding the challenges they face and giving them some steer on what to do.

But the book goes beyond, wheeling out Al Yamamah is in our view too remote for the average compliance professional and importantly those whose hearts and minds he or she needs to win.

How to pay a bribe is available on Amazon for under twenty bucks, which is a bargain if it saves you from a multi million dollar FCPA or other anti-corruption enforcement action.

We’re looking forward to the 2015 edition.

Our rating? We’ll give it 3 out of 5.

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