Purchasers update Christmas gift policy to meet bribery law

28 November 2012

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28 November 2012 | Anna Reynolds

More than half of purchasers have updated their policy on receiving gifts from suppliers, following the implementation of the Bribery Act last year.

According to the latest SM100 survey, 53 per cent said they have updated their policy in line with the legislation, under which it is an offence for organisations to receive or accept financial or other benefits.

Neil Dixon, head of procurement and supplier management at LeasePlan told SM: “We updated our policy and contracts to refer to the Act and now have a clear policy that requires sign-off of any gift or hospitality. No gift can be accepted from prospective suppliers or during a tender process.

“Any gifts that are received go into a Christmas raffle that staff buy tickets for and the proceeds go to charity. All of our suppliers are aware of this.”

Another procurement specialist, who asked to remain anonymous, told SM although the Act gave more clarity and detail on the value limit of gifts there are some exceptions: “In some cases (hospitality) does improve relationships and innovation. Suppliers have stopped offering this to buyers but we are less willing to pick up the cost, so we’re all losing out.”

Some organisations made suppliers aware of its policy, while others relied on employees to be responsible for upholding the regulations.

Around 47 per cent have not updated their policy. Brian Grew, vice president of commercial at Live Nation told SM: “We already had a robust policy in place regarding the giving or receiving of gifts.”

He warned: “The recipient of any gift has to recognise that the gift is made to them in their professional capacity, so should be the property of their organisation. If a gift is in any way personal then tread carefully - check the corporate policy and comply with its letter and spirit.”

Examples of gifts received by buyers in the past included an invitation and flights to the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia, a leather jacket and hotel accommodation.

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