Your company is currently negotiating a major contract with a foreign government. To demonstrate the technical capability of your offering, you invite a government delegation to an international conference in your country. Your company pays for business class flight, accommodation at a five-star hotel and other travel expenses.
Since the conference takes place before the weekend, your company also provides an “all-inclusive” weekend stay, including sightseeing and a visit to a football match.
Not every corruption-related activity is as easily recognised as a luggage stuffed with cash to bribe a public official. Corruption can be far more subtle, making it difficult for employees to recognise it unequivocally for what it is. That is especially the case for business practices that are legal, but can be abused to disguise corruption.
Companies must address hospitality, travel and entertainment expenses in their anti-corruption programme, in the context of their particular risk exposure.
However, the general legitimacy of such expenses may also mean that a company has to invest considerable effort to communicate the related risks, and the importance of complying with official procedures.
Additional, practical safeguards to mitigate the misuse of hospitality, travel and entertainment as a form of bribery include:
Dinner with a foreign public official
[TI UK BA, Scenario 3]
Travel expenses paid for foreign public officials to view company facility
[TI UK BA, Scenario 4]
Hospitality given to foreign public official at a company’s UK office
[TI UK BA, Scenario 5]
Pharmaceutical conference at overseas resort
[TI UK BA, Scenario 7]
Hospitality used as a facilitation payment to secure a permit
[TI UK HTB, Page 8]
“How To Bribe – A Typology Of Bribe-Paying And How To Stop It”, Section 1.2
“The 2010 UK Bribery Act Adequate Procedures – Guidance on good practice procedures for corporate anti-bribery programmes”, Chapter 5.1.2
“An Anti-Corruption Ethics and Compliance Programme for Business: A Practical Guide”, Chapter E.2