Whenever people hear about corporate bribery scandals they usually think about massive sums of money wired to discrete Swiss bank accounts, but the truth of the matter is that bribery can occur whenever something of value is exchanged for something else. It is not unusual for companies to organise business-related trips or entertainment for officials or clients with whom they seek to develop a long term relationship; however, many companies are doing this without consideration as to how it could be perceived.
Increased regulatory scrutiny and a number of high-profile scandals have driven companies to provide specific guidance to employees via gifts, travel and entertainment policies. Such policies set limits for the provision of gifts and entertainment to a company’s business partners, as well as requiring staff to declare large gifts accepted from outside parties. However, companies are finding out that drafting and maintaining a policy that is relevant globally is becoming increasingly difficult in today’s continuously-changing business and regulatory landscape.