Risk managers need to be mitigating the liabilities caused by rogue employees engaged in bribery

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This month marks the first anniversary of the Bribery Act – which applies to any person or entity doing business in the UK. However, according to Frank Coggrave, General Manager EMEA for Guidance Software, “there is still a debate over the difference between bribery and traditional corporate hospitality”.

Coggrave said that the Act “has put the onus on an organisation to ensure that there’s no bribery taking place within the organisation”.

He went on to say that risk managers needed to be taking a “proactive” approach to reduce the risk of bribery being committed within their organisations. An ideal way, he said, was by conducting digital investigations that would help to protect them from rogue employees, and also mitigate liability if regulators were ever to be called in.

“The regulatory frameworks are changing now and I think we’re going to see an even more stringent regulatory environment moving forward,” said Coggrave.

“Businesses need to have a full educative process in place, and also tools that allow you to go out and investigate quickly when you suspect that there might be some breach in place.

“You can’t stop things happening completely, but what you’ve got to be doing is performing investigations on a regular basis on those people who are deemed to pose the highest risks.

“Not only is this good business practice; it will also show the regulators that you’re doing the right things and making efforts to mitigate the risk. Also, you can hopefully find wrongdoing before it becomes something that is damaging financially, through fines, and/or to your reputation.”