Are you ready for the upcoming anti-bribery and corruption reforms?
fail to prevent foreign bribery.
As Pamela Hanrahan, professor of law at the University of NSW, explained in Company Director Magazine:
“It’s your fault if somebody else does it unless you can prove you had adequate arrangements in place to protect against bribery.”
But it’s not only foreign corruption you should be targeting.
Just look at Queensland Health. The Brisbane Times recently reported how staff in charge of contracts at some of Queensland’s hospital and health services have been cutting corners when awarding contracts, which opens them up to corruption risks. The fact is, procurement plays a significant role in preventing bribery and corruption in Australia and overseas. Your goal is to demonstrate the company’s ability to act ethically and to do the right thing.
While this isn’t the sole task of Procurement, there are a few essential things you should do now:
1. Get familiar with the changes
Be aware of the changes and what they mean for your company and the way you work. The Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) has just released a guide for Australia companies doing business offshore.
This guide provides practical steps for building a culture of compliance within an organisation to manage the risks of bribery and corruption.
2. Watch for legal developments in 2019
Things can change quickly, so continue to check for new legislation developments and guidance. The Austrade websiteis a good source of information.
3. Start reviewing internal policies and procedures
See what policies are already in place in your organisation, and how procurement plays a role. Will these policies and procedures ensure your organisation meets the new anti-bribery and corruption obligations? If not, work with other departments to create an effective ABC compliance program. Review this periodically to ensure they are still effective and compliant.
4. Train your procurement team
Train procurement employees who are likely to be exposed to bribery or corruption so they know how to recognise and deal with it.
5. Build an ethical culture
Start with a code of conduct that outlines ethical policies and procedures. This helps your team make good decisions and gives them a framework for dealing with questionable situations. Make sure you also communicate your culture to suppliers.
And finally, brush up on contract law – check out our Introduction to Contract Law short course.