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Harry Cassin
Publisher and Editor

Andy Spalding
Senior Editor

Jessica Tillipman
Senior Editor

Bill Steinman
Senior Editor

Richard L. Cassin
Editor at Large

Elizabeth K. Spahn
Editor Emeritus

Cody Worthington
Contributing Editor

Julie DiMauro
Contributing Editor

Thomas Fox
Contributing Editor

Marc Alain Bohn
Contributing Editor

Bill Waite
Contributing Editor

Shruti J. Shah
Contributing Editor

Russell A. Stamets
Contributing Editor

Richard Bistrong
Contributing Editor

Eric Carlson
Contributing Editor

SFO: ‘Some things just don’t add up’

Image courtesy of the SFOThe FCPA Blog is a fanboy of the UK Serious Fraud Office. Partly because we enjoy the way the SFO talks. An example is the guidance it posted about where to find graft and how to recognize it.

We’ve published an excerpt below.

Caveat: Nearly everything that comes from the UK’s public sector is marked “© Crown Copyright 2015.” But we’re guessing (hoping) the Crown has more interest in spreading the anti-corruption and compliance message than in punishing anyone for posting this guidance from the SFO’s website:

*     *     *

It is possible that in your day to day life or in your working environment you have or will come across questionable practices; things that, given your knowledge and experience, just do not seem to add up. This may not necessarily mean that corruption is present but it may be something that you wish to bring to the attention of your manager or contact us.

Corruption indicators

This list is not exhaustive and the ingenuity of those involved in corruption knows no bounds!  But you should beware of:

abnormal cash payments

pressure exerted for payments to be made urgently or ahead of schedule

payments being made through a third party country – for example, goods or services supplied to country ‘A’ but payment is being made, usually to a shell company in country ‘B’

an abnormally high commission percentage being paid to a particular agency. This may be split into two accounts for the same agent, often in different jurisdictions

private meetings with public contractors or companies hoping to tender for contracts lavish gifts being received

an individual who never takes time off even if ill, or holidays, or insists on dealing with specific contractors himself or herself

making unexpected or illogical decisions accepting projects or contracts

the unusually smooth process of cases where an individual does not have the expected level of knowledge or expertise

abuse of the decision process or delegated powers in specific cases agreeing contracts not favourable to the organisation either because of the terms or the time period

unexplained preference for certain contractors during tendering period avoidance of independent checks on the tendering or contracting processes

raising barriers around specific roles or departments which are key in the tendering or contracting processes

bypassing normal tendering or contracting procedures

invoices being agreed in excess of the contract without reasonable cause missing documents or records regarding meetings or decisions

company procedures or guidelines not being followed the payment of, or making funds available for, high value expenses or school fees (or similar) on behalf of others.

*    *     *

The UK Serious Fraud Office website is here.


Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.

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