The UK Bribery Act creates an offence of failure of commercial organisations to prevent bribery by its employees and business partners – the penalty for which if found proven, is an unlimited fine and potentially imprisonment for those involved.
The word ‘bribery’ might conjure up in the minds of many images of stealthy exchanges of large suitcases of cash under cover of darkness! In reality, however, bribery takes many more subtle guises and includes any act which might compromise judgement or create an obligation or any level of inappropriate influence over a decision made in favour of Inzpire. It is a complex and subjective principle and, as a business, we are responsible for ensuring that all reasonable measures are taken to minimise the risk of bribery taking place within all of our business/customer relationships. These measures must be proportionate taking into account our size, management and corporate structure and our business model.
A recent case within the UK court system involving two directors of a UK defence company has left them awaiting a promised custodial sentence, having paid a bribe to secure a valuable defence contract. Serious consequences await those who offer bribes, or fail to prevent them through their working practices.
It may not be apparent at first glance, but the notion of anti-bribery and due diligence touches various areas of the business, including the appointment of prospective new suppliers, international agents and other potential partners. The defence domain is accepted as being one of the highest risk areas of business within which to operate in terms of corruption and bribery. Furthermore, it is of fundamental importance to Inzpire that we do business with those whose values and principles accord with our own. We therefore endeavour to ensure that, before concluding agreements with business partners, we gather evidence and conduct risk assessments and analysis to assist the senior management of the business in making informed decisions about Inzpire’s prospective business relationships.
The Legal/Commercial team at Inzpire has been busily creating and updating new processes and policies for internal and external stakeholders, the implementation of which requires a level of input from both Inzpire colleagues, prospective business partners and potentially other third parties.
In conclusion, our anti-bribery and corruption policies are essential to managing risk to the business as we continue to expand worldwide. But rather than stymie the business with process, we have striven to put in place a regime that fully identifies the relevant risks and enables the company to take an informed decision about them without hampering Inzpire’s unique commercial agility and drive.