Anti-corruption controls – carry on bribing

UK businesses are failing to implement adequate anti-corruption controls three years after the UK Bribery Act came into force, making new scandals “almost inevitable”, according to a report by GoodCorporation. More than a third of 3,000 anti-corruption controls assessed by the company were deemed inadequate, along with 67% of due diligence procedures. Many of the anti-bribery measures recommended by the Ministry of Justice are not being successfully adopted, states the report, ‘Combating corruption: are businesses doing enough?’

A clear gap is also emerging between the companies that are doing best in this area and those with inadequate procedures, GoodCorporation found, with good companies outperforming weaker companies significantly in areas such as anti-corruption due diligence. Leo Martin, director of GoodCorporation – which checks and measures corporate behaviour in a range of industries – said many companies were failing to take a broad enough view of possible corruption risks in the supply chain, and needed more external engagement.

“Too many companies are doing bits of what is required, rather than seeing the whole picture,” he told Ethical Corp. “There has to be an outward focus, i.e. much more communication with the supply chain and vetting/due diligence where necessary. Not doing these two things has often led to falling short in specific areas, such as training of sales staff or dealing with governments.”


Businesses are more at risk from corruption by third parties than in any other area of their operations, making due diligence checks vital, Martin said. However, the fact that some businesses are starting to get it right shows what can be achieved and that the goal is attainable, he added.

After anti-corruption due diligence, the hardest area to get right was communication and training (50% inadequate), followed by government and regulatory affairs (45% inadequate) and human resources (42% inadequate). Robert Barrington, executive director of Transparency International UK, said: “The message from this GoodCorporation report is that an encouraging number of companies have made a good start. This is in line with Transparency International’s own research on UK companies. But is also true that for most companies there is more to be done.”

Extracts from an article by Sam Phipps in the January edition of Ethical Corporation