Gary Waylett examines how the UK Bribery Act 2010 is ushering in a new era of tighter control over corporate hospitality and employee entertainment.
For any business built on wining and dining customers and business partners, the introduction of the UK Bribery Act this July will have a significant impact on its behaviour.
To ensure they comply with the law, and minimise the associated personal and corporate risk, organisations will need to put in place robust employee expense and entertainment recording, analysis and reporting mechanisms. Companies cannot afford to take a wait and see attitude;
Spotlight on employees
The UK Bribery Act 2010 introduces a new crime of failure to prevent bribery, which means organisations will need to demonstrate they have adequate procedures to prevent corrupt practices both internally and by third parties. Failure to do so could expose the business and its senior managers to unlimited fines, debarment from government business or even a jail sentence.
Industries that rely on entertainment and strong inter-personal relationships should look to ensure every instance of corporate entertainment received from a customer, supplier or partner – from a casual coffee with an IT supplier to an invitation to speak at a conference – is rigorously recorded. Information must include not only the time and date of the event, where it occurred and what was received, but also the names of all individuals attending.