Bribery in a company is a form of corruption which can destroy businesses. When money or favours exchange hands to circumvent company practices or even legal regulations, the entire structure of the business is compromised. A bribery investigation, conducted by independent specialists, is designed to not only uncover those involved but also provide remediation actions to help rebuild the damaged company. In this article we have put together some useful information to help you understand what bribery is, how an investigation is conducted, how to identify bribery and which Australian laws cover bribery crimes.
What is Bribery?
The Oxford English Dictionary defines bribery as “dishonestly persuading someone to act in one’s favour by a gift of money or other inducement.” In business, bribery can occur at every level, including management. Sometimes an employee may not recognise their behaviour as a bribe, such as offering a gift to a prospective client. In order to ensure your business upholds a professional and respected reputation, all acts of bribery, whether large or small, must be investigated and stopped. Implementing comprehensive staff training and compliance procedures minimises the risk of bribery and corruption.
What Is A Bribery Investigation?
A bribery investigation is designed to identify and eliminate any and all individuals who are involved in this illegal behaviour. A bribery investigator or team of investigators is usually brought in from an external company to avoid bias. It is crucial the the investigation is carried out discretely, so those involved aren’t alerted to your suspicions.
Investigators will work to gather evidence by reviewing digital and paper records, observing behaviours and relations within offices and, where necessary, conducting surveillance operations. Global Risk & Investigations Australia is licensed to install electronic surveillance technology to collect evidence which can be used in legal proceedings if required.
Signs of Bribery
It can be incredibly hard to identify bribery and corruption in your business. However, we recommend you look for these warning signs:
- The purchase of unnecessary items/stock
- Unsubstantiated invoices
- Acceptance of poor quality goods
- Unqualified third party involved
- Incomplete/unnecessary travel and/or expenses forms
- Transactions which make no business sense/create a conflict of interest
The sooner you quash any acts of bribery, the less damage can be done to your business and reputation. If you notice any signs of bribery, therefore, call Global Risk & Investigations Group immediately.
Bribery Investigations In Australia
The Australian government has passed a number of Anti-Bribery Laws applicable to businesses just like yours. There are proposed changes to these laws currently under consideration now. Bribery is taken very seriously in Australia and as a business owner, you are responsible for keeping up to date with the latest legislation. The corporation is liable for any acts of bribery committed by staff members either within Australia or internationally. In addition to federal law, each state and territory within Australia has its own bribery and corruption laws:
- Australian Capital Territory – Sections 356-357 of the Criminal Code 2002
- New South Wales – Section 249B of the Crimes Act 1900
- Northern Territory – Section 236 of the Criminal Code Act 1983
- Queensland – Sections 442B-442BA of the Criminal Code Act 1899
- South Australia – Section 150 of the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935
- Tasmania – Section 266 of the Criminal Code Act 1924
- Victoria – Section 176 of the Crimes Act 1958
- Western Australia – Section 529-530 of the Criminal Code Act Compilation Act 1913
If you suspect acts of bribery are being committed within your company, you should contact Global Risk & Investigations Group for a bribery investigation. Our experts will uncover the truth, expose those responsible and work with youto rebuild your organisation. Part of this final step includes the implementation of procedures and development of policies to protect yourself against bribery in the future.