Tuesday 23 July 2019

Firms 'at risk from staff bribery and corruption'

Businesses face increased legal risks from acts of bribery and corruption committed by staff and third parties and must employ more forensic methods to protect themselves, Deloitte Ireland has warned. Stock image
Businesses face increased legal risks from acts of bribery and corruption committed by staff and third parties and must employ more forensic methods to protect themselves, Deloitte Ireland has warned. Stock image

Shawn Pogatchnik

Businesses face increased legal risks from acts of bribery and corruption committed by staff and third parties and must employ more forensic methods to protect themselves, Deloitte Ireland has warned.

The anonymous survey of 106 executives and other key figures at Irish companies concludes that too few employ modern systems for early identification of unethical activity. Deirdre Carwood, forensic partner at Deloitte Ireland, said the findings show "bribery and corruption is still not well understood in Ireland, despite it being a reality of doing business in both domestic and foreign markets". Ms Carwood noted that the Criminal Justice (Corruption Offences) Act 2018 opened the door for firms to be held liable for actions committed by an employee or third party. "To defend itself against proceedings, a business will need to prove it took all reasonable steps and exercised all due diligence to prevent the issue occurring," she said.

Officials who reported domestic bribery and fraud said detection most commonly happened by chance, confession or tip-off, not through systemic safeguards. Of known acts of corruption, 23pc involved failure to disclose conflicts of interest, and 17pc of leaking confidential information.

Ms Carwood said employers must develop strong data analytics and internal controls. "This is key," she said. "Ongoing monitoring of risky third parties is also very important to identify potential issues before they happen."

Indo Business

Also in Business