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What is the difference between bribes & gifts or hospitality?

The giving of gifts and hospitality is a recognised and important part of doing business. It helps build relationships and it helps create stronger ties. A normal level of hospitality and giving of gifts is usually perfectly acceptable, but there’s a fine line between what’s acceptable and what’s not… …So, when is it appropriate to give a gift? …And when is it inappropriate - when might it be considered a bribe?

If gifts or hospitality are reasonable and proportionate and done for the right reasons they’re not considered to be bribery. If your organisation has a policy which covers gifts and hospitality take time to read it. And even if there’s no formal policy, ask your manager ANY questions you may have about acceptable levels of hospitality.

If you’re offered a gift, ask yourself:

About the timing. If it’s just before or just after a contract has been awarded, or is about to be awarded, it could well be seen as a bribe, even if it’s not.

Would you be able to reciprocate?

Would you be able to offer something of similar value? If not, then there’s a chance it could be a bribe, so it’s probably best not to accept it without asking your manager or a relevant person in your organisation.

Would you be embarrassed to admit to receiving the gift or hospitality? Or, would you be embarrassed if anyone found out?

What would you think if one of your colleagues received the same gift or hospitality?

The main question to ask yourself is “Will the gift influence my behaviour or decisions in any way?” And cash gifts are very likely to be seen as a bribe because they’re easier to conceal. So, be very wary about offering or accepting gifts of money. If you have been given, offered or promised a bribe or suspect that someone else has, you MUST report it by following the steps in your organisation’s anti-bribery policy.

Anti-Bribery Training

Our Anti-Bribery Training Course increases awareness and explains what bribery is and how employees, and your organisation, can be affected by it and what can be done to prevent it. It’s important that everyone understands the consequences of becoming involved in bribery.

This course can be completed in as little as 25 minutes! Claim your free no-obligation trial today!

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