Are you about to fall foul of the Bribery Act?

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Are your logistics suppliers indulging in corrupt practices? Unlikely, I agree, but about one third of logistics companies have not yet complied with new UK legislation that requires them to publish an anti-corruption policy.

And that could leave them and their clients open to prosecution, consultancy GoodCorporation has warned.

The Bribery Act came into force a year ago, and requires businesses be fully accountable for the activities of all third parties and intermediaries working on a company’s behalf.

Directors of businesses that cannot demonstrate that they have “adequate procedures” to stamp out corruption, in their own organisation and throughout their supply chain, may be liable to unlimited fines and up to ten years in jail.

GoodCorporation studied the publically available information on bribery and corruption of 30 leading international logistics companies. It found that one third of have no published anti-corruption policy or statement and more than half make no statement at all regarding facilitation payments.

And it argues that by failing to demonstrate clearly that proper measures are being taken to eradicate corruption, logistics companies are putting themselves and their clients at risk, pointing out that in the United States, every prosecution in 2011 under the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act was related to the corrupt activities of third parties.

On one level this is just another piece of bureaucracy to be dealt with by companies and their logistics suppliers. But failure to deal with it adequately could have unfortunate results.

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