Now the Bribery Act is now law in the UK, it's started to claim it's first victims! Willis Ltd has just been fined nearly £7 million pounds for failing to adequately comply with the Bribery Act laws.
"Between January 2005 and December 2009, Willis Limited made payments to overseas third parties who assisted it in winning and retaining business from overseas clients, particularly in high risk jurisdictions. These payments totalled £27 million. The FSA investigation found that, up until August 2008, Willis Limited failed to:
- ensure that it established and recorded an adequate commercial rationale to support its payments to overseas third parties;
- ensure that adequate due diligence was carried out on overseas third parties to evaluate the risk involved in doing business with them; and
- adequately review its relationships on a regular basis to confirm whether it was still necessary and appropriate for Willis Limited to continue with the relationship."
One of the more avoidable areas that Willis was found guilty of is in relation to the controls and procedures it put around their employees. The FSA stipulated that..
"In addition, between January 2005 and May 2009, Willis Limited failed to adequately monitor its staff to ensure that each time it engaged an overseas third party, an adequate commercial rationale had been recorded and that sufficient due diligence had been carried out. Although Willis Limited improved its policies in August 2008, it failed to ensure that its staff were adequately implementing them."
Failure to distribute relevant compliance policies to your employees can lead to your organisation being liabel, as in this case. In addition to this, it's also imperative that you are able to store and audit the fact that each employee (including new ones), have acknowledged that they have read and understood the anti-corruption policies.
If you utilise SharePoint in your organisation, DocRead can easily help in your defence against the Bribery Act. Please read how DocRead can be used for anti-bribery policy distribution.