Executive Briefings

50 Percent of UK Businesses Vet Suppliers for Bribery Act Compliance

A study that polled procurement managers and directors from a range of firms across the UK found that while mid-market firms are often less likely to have robust processes and systems in place to counter bribery risk, companies at both ends of the spectrum appeared complacent when it came to vetting their suppliers for compliance with the Bribery Act.

The study, by Ernst & Young, found that although 60 percent of firms with a turnover of £5m to £50m currently vet their suppliers to assess whether their business practices comply with the UK Bribery Act, 16 percent of these mid-market firms would "do nothing" if their suppliers fail to comply. Moreover, 60 percent of firms that do not currently vet their suppliers reported that they are not planning to implement any anti-bribery programmes in the future.

Only 40 percent of larger firms (with a turnover of more than £50 million) would remove suppliers from their supply chain if they fail to comply with the Act.

"Following recent concerns over food contamination, there has been much focus on supply chains and how much companies know about suppliers and agents acting on their behalf. In cases where bribery and corruption are discovered, the consequences for companies under the law may be serious. It's worrying to see that businesses are failing to make sure that their suppliers are complying with the UK Bribery Act, especially as the act came into effect over a year and a half ago," said John Smart, partner at Ernst & Young.

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The study, by Ernst & Young, found that although 60 percent of firms with a turnover of £5m to £50m currently vet their suppliers to assess whether their business practices comply with the UK Bribery Act, 16 percent of these mid-market firms would "do nothing" if their suppliers fail to comply. Moreover, 60 percent of firms that do not currently vet their suppliers reported that they are not planning to implement any anti-bribery programmes in the future.

Only 40 percent of larger firms (with a turnover of more than £50 million) would remove suppliers from their supply chain if they fail to comply with the Act.

"Following recent concerns over food contamination, there has been much focus on supply chains and how much companies know about suppliers and agents acting on their behalf. In cases where bribery and corruption are discovered, the consequences for companies under the law may be serious. It's worrying to see that businesses are failing to make sure that their suppliers are complying with the UK Bribery Act, especially as the act came into effect over a year and a half ago," said John Smart, partner at Ernst & Young.

Read Full Article