Among the recent changes underscoring the U.S. government’s seriousness about bribery:
China, Mexico, Canada and others have recently enacted or started to enforce meaningful anti-bribery laws. Companies must now consider the real possibility that countries other than the U.S., U.K. and Germany may seriously pursue bribery allegations, and that activities permissible in one country may be problematic in others.
A leading practice for larger companies with relatively mature compliance programs (and urged on by law enforcement) is to require that key suppliers have certain anti-bribery measures in place, typically including a documented compliance program. Commercial agreements may include provisions that cover:
Public reports of huge fines, imprisonment, loss of market share and other adverse consequences stemming from bribery-related settlements and convictions have gotten the attention of companies’ boards of directors and senior management. The resulting cost-benefit analysis typically points towards implementing a compliance program. Companies of all sizes now use anti-bribery programs to help manage bribery risk and to demonstrate that they are responsible and a “good corporate citizen.”
ISO 37001 “Anti-bribery management systems” will likely take effect during 2016. During 2017, ISO 37001 certification will likely be available - indicating that a company’s anti-bribery system meets the comprehensive ISO requirements.
International soccer match site selection and match fixing; Olympic games and pro cycling drug testing; major U.S. college football and basketball recruiting – the list goes on and on. And globally, it is causing the everyday sports fan to lament “they’re taking away my game!”
Corruption is a significant contributing factor to the social unrest that exists in certain parts of the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere. Bribery, money laundering and other financial crimes thrive in the non-transparent environments sometimes present in these regions, where the rule of law is often absent.