Global Anti-Bribery Compliance Policies Access and Clarity

In terms of global anti-bribery compliance, it must always be kept in mind the need for ready and easy access to compliance policies that are clear, concise, and understandable.  Making the policy available only to senior officials or to those who may only access it on a website or through the Intranet will seldom suffice. Not every employee may be competent in terms of technology.  Steps must be taken to ensure that relevant policies are readily available to individuals at all levels of a company and its organization.

For someone who receives goods at a company’s warehouse, he or she must know the importance of the accuracy of shipping documents that may need to be signed. Seemingly innocuous conduct for a seemingly low-level employee may be part of a cover-up of a bribe that could constitute a violation of the internal controls and record-keeping provisions of the FCPA.  Depending upon the circumstances, it may also be evidence of a violation of the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions.  This, of course, does not exclude the possibility of a violation of the UK Bribery Act or other laws that may be applicable.

Aside from being in an employee’s or agent’s local language, compliance polices cannot be burdened with legal language or unfamiliar terms.  An extraordinary amount of time needs to be devoted to making them simple and straightforward in nature.  Compliance policies must be able to explain to an unsophisticated person what should or should not be done and how to seek assistance when an individual has a question or a concern.  Reference should be made to local examples to further explain and enhance the understanding of the compliance policies.  For compliance policies to be effective, simplifying and clarifying their terms and means of application must be a never-ending process.

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