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New TI report: how bribes work, how to stop them

Transparency International’s UK chapter released a new handbook Wednesday for creating or enhancing an anti-bribery compliance program.

The handbook targets businesses subject to the UK Bribery Act and U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and helps them anticipate, avoid and resist bribery.

Bribes can be paid, demanded and accepted in lots of different ways. So it can sometimes be tough to distinguish improper payments from acceptable ones.

The authors identify bribery red flags and the tools that will help prevent it. Covered are how illicit payments can be used to secure items and actions that are seemingly insignificant, for example, and how simply retaining a contract can be a red flag if a company is otherwise not deserving of it.

TI’s own recent survey of global employees showed that a quarter of the respondents admitted paying a bribe at least once in the past year. In some countries, the figure was as high as three people in every four.

It happens everywhere, the authors warn, and companies can’t afford to be complacent, particularly as their own risks fluctuate with changing business patterns, clients and customers.

TI’s “How to Bribe: A Typology of Bribe-Paying and How to Stop It” can be found here.

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Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of the FCPA Blog and can be reached here.

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