Offered a dodgy deal in Dubai ? Given an expensive Rolex as a present? Pressurised to give a backhander to get your visa stamped? Taken out to a very expensive meal?
All these dilemmas might well face business people working to secure a contract abroad – or even now possibly in a few cases in the UK.
Bribery and corruption according to the Institute of Business Ethics is the top ethical concern now for 80 per cent of major FTSE companies who might well be worried their staff could be tempted by an offer they can’t refuse.
Interestingly company action seems to have been boosted by the implementation of the Bribery Act in 2012 which makes it an offence for a commercial company to allow their employees to bribe other people on their behalf.
Companies are expected to have procedures in place and The Institute of Business Ethics neat solution is a free App which can be put on any business phone – offering instant advice on what to do when you are put in a difficult position.
The App offers sane advice on how to handle the situation – including a sensible warning to pay up if you are threatened with violence- and report the incident later. Life in a foreign country is too precious to risk for the sake of a few pounds.
Details of the app and the toolkit on the Institute of Business Ethics website.
IBE’s Director, Philippa Foster Back CBE OBE, says “Any one, at any level, in any organisation, can be offered a bribe. The SayNo Toolkit supports staff by giving them clear and easily accessible guidance about what can or cannot be accepted. Not only will the App provide an adequate procedure to combat bribery, it could also help to minimise the risks of corruption taking place.”
Two criticisms can be made.about the effectiveness of the new app. What happens if the firm itself – through either its legal or human resources department – turns a blind eye to what is happening.
The toolkit does not suggest going elsewhere or reporting it say to Public Concern at Work a charity which also can handle such issues and can help businesses manage such problems. The second is that it is not clear whether an individual employee could order one of these free apps if his or her firm does not go along with the scheme – which means people miss out on a valuable guide.
However the Institute of Business Ethics, a non profit making company, should be congratulated for a clever idea that might just help cut down bribery and corruption before it starts.