New global survey sets out to highlight and tackle corruption within business
- 2018 White Collar Crime Survey sets out to highlight corruption and Bribery
- Survey seeks stop inappropriate practices at an early stage within organisations
- 30% of respondents – almost one in three – considered it likely that someone in their company would get away with paying a bribe on behalf of their company
- Just 3% said that they would avail of a whistle blowing hotline
The “2018 Global White Collar Crime” survey, carried out by global legal firm White & Case and leading researching body the University of Manchester suggests there are still improvements to be made in strategies for businesses to tackle corruption.
The survey gathered views anonymously from a total of 252 respondents operating across a variety of sectors and jurisdictions with different roles and responsibilities within their organisations through exploring key themes that surround both bribery and corruption.
The survey was carried out as an online questionnaire, consisting of 82 questions in total. Respondents did not answer all questions; the questionnaire was designed so it could be answered by those in different sectors.
When asked “Does your company have a formal policy on anti bribery and corruption?” 19% of respondents had answered ‘no’ with a further 10% answering they ‘didn’t know’.
The Bribery Act 2010 states that “You should have an anti-bribery policy if there is a risk that someone who works for you or on your behalf might be exposed to bribery.”
John Pickworth a Partner at White & Case said: “Companies need to do more to tackle this idea that wrong-doing will result in substantial personal gain. The consequences of bribery and corruption are severe, and law enforcement agencies’ powers to investigate and prosecute have grown substantially over the last few years. Employers need to make sure their staff are aware of the legal implications, and severity of penalties.”
In addition, when respondents in the survey identified bribery and corruption by a co-worker, 88% had answered they would be inclined to raise the issue internally. In addition to this just 3% of respondents said they would make use of a whistle blowing hot line and only 2% said they go to a regulator of authority.
When asked “How likely is it that someone would get away with paying a bribe on behalf of the company?” 30% of respondents had answered it was either ‘certain’, ‘very likely’ or ‘likely’ an employee would. In contrast, when then asked “could people that pay bribes on behalf of the company can personally benefit?” a staggering 48% of respondents feel that people who pay bribes on behalf of their company are rewarded internally with a minority of 25% answering ‘no’.
Dr Nicholas Lord from the University of Manchester said: “The study indicates that there is still a way to go – in terms of the development of internal compliance programmes and structure, and also in changing perceptions around the benefits and consequences of bribery and corruption.” White & Case believe an effective compliance program can help prevent or detect wrong doing by employees by allowing the company to stop inappropriate practices at an early stage.
Following the conclusion of the survey White and Case stated on their website “The results emphasize the key role of managers and employees outside of the compliance department who are often most likely to encounter misconduct.”