Few concerns over bribery law

24 May 2010

25 May 2010 | Lindsay Clark

Procurement experts believe they do not need to review their purchasing processes in light of the Bribery Act, which is due to come into force this autumn.

In the latest SM100 poll, 86 per cent of procurement professionals and consultants said the Bribery Act would not make a difference to the way buying in their organisation is carried out.

One purchaser told SM: “I believe most companies should now have a strong policy of procedures in place for preventing any actions of bribery.”

Regarding corporate hospitality and gifts, he said that this area remains unclear and many organisations do not have “a black and white policy” about such actions.

“This will need to be an improvement point for many but we should be mindful not to damage relationships. I believe small gifts and hospitality can play an important role in building a relationship between companies and suppliers, so long as they are open, documented and controlled to an acceptable level.

“They should never be allowed to influence our sourcing decisions and I think we all have the responsibility as professionals to ensure that we act appropriately.”

However, a minority, 7 per cent, said the new law did require some attention. Consultant Alex Strange said: “It is clear that the new law requires organisations to clearly indicate in employee contracts the implications of giving or receiving bribes and the implications to employees if they are found guilty of such criminal action.”

He added that contractual changes of this nature should apply not only to purchasing staff, but to all staff.

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