What Price Bribery?

Recently I’ve started to be inundated with spam from ‘consultants’ who, having missed the Elf’n’Safety and Discrimination bandwagons, fancy their chances at the next big thing, the Bribery Act 2010.

It seems that simply by having an appropriate policy in place, I, as an officer of my company, would have a statutory defence should an employee be caught bribing a potential customer.  Hurrah!  So if I whisper in a business developer’s ear that I think it would be a good idea for him to offer a thick brown envelope to the procurement manager at XYZ Co, then I’m in the clear if he’s caught doing so.

How, I wonder, does this benefit mankind apart from beneficiaries of the WJCP (The Worthless Job Creation Programme)?  I have no intention of whispering anything but sweet nothings in anyone’s ear and I’ve never hired and will never hire the sort of the BD manager who would consider anything as crude as a bribe to win business.  Nevertheless, I’ll probably be worn down by the new Anti-Bribery Industry so that I squeeze in the task of creating a policy, or pay someone for one off the shelf.

Will this have any effect on the sort of people that are corrupt enough to consider bribery in the first place?  Probably not.  Will it create more red tape for business owners, and another unnecessary expense for legitimate businesses.  No doubt!

I had hoped that the new coalition government would put a stop to some of the additional regulatory legacy of the last Labour government.  Let’s be charitable and assume that they’re so busy sorting out the black hole that’s been left in our nation’s economy, that they’ve just allowed this one to roll through.

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