A recent poll of procurement managers and directors conducted by Ernst & Young found that nearly half (48 per cent) of British firms fail to vet their suppliers for compliance with the Bribery Act.
While that statistic is certainly shocking, the polling revealed something worse: Only 6 per cent would re-tender if they discovered their suppliers were not compliant.
Businesses are leaving themselves open to serious legal consequences. Procurement leaders can be subject to imprisonment and monetary fines, even if non-compliance is caused by a supplier, not the buying organisation. Yet, these risks are not prompting action even though the Act has been in place for longer than a year.
According to John Smart, a partner at Ernst & Young, this discrepancy is primarily caused by a lack of awareness that these penalties even exist.
I encourage you and your colleagues to read more about what the Bribery Act means for your business and current procurement processes. Below is some reading material to help you get started:
· The Bribery Act: An Overview
· The Serious Fraud Office: Useful Links