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Bribery and Corruption Risk


Bribery and corruption?

Bribery and corruption are unethical and often illegal practices involving the misuse of power, influence, or resources for personal gain.


Bribery is the act of offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting something of value (such as money, gifts, favours, or benefits) to influence the actions or decisions of an individual in a position of authority, typically a public official or someone in a position of trust. The aim is to obtain an unfair advantage or gain favours, contracts, or favourable treatment. Bribery is illegal in most countries and is a violation of ethical standards.


Corruption is a broader term that encompasses various forms of dishonest and unethical behaviour, including bribery. Corruption may involve the misuse of power or resources for personal or organisational gain, and it can manifest in different contexts, such as politics, business, government, or civil society. Corruption undermines trust, fairness, and the rule of law, and it can have serious economic, social, and political consequences.

Both bribery and corruption can lead to significant harm, including the erosion of public trust, economic inefficiency, distorted competition, and social injustice. Many countries have enacted laws and regulations to combat these practices and promote transparency, accountability, and ethical behaviour in public and private sectors.


Bribery and corruption risk?

Bribery and corruption risk refers to the potential for individuals or organisations to engage in unethical or illegal activities, such as offering or accepting bribes, in order to gain an unfair advantage or manipulate a situation. This risk can undermine trust, distort fair competition, and harm economies and societies. Companies often implement measures to mitigate these risks and ensure ethical behaviour in their operations.


Bribery and Corruption Risk Assessment?

A Bribery and Corruption Risk Assessment is a systematic evaluation carried out by organisations to identify, analyse, and understand the potential risks related to bribery and corruption within their operations. It involves assessing various aspects of the organisation's activities, such as business relationships, transactions, geographic locations, and industry practices, to determine the likelihood and potential impact of bribery and corruption occurrences.

The assessment helps organisations gauge the vulnerabilities they might face and allows them to prioritise resources and efforts to prevent and address these risks effectively. It often results in the development of strategies, policies, and controls to mitigate the identified risks and promote a culture of transparency, integrity, and compliance within the organisation.

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Bribery and Corruption Risk Assessment?

Legal Compliance

Many countries have strict anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws. Assessments ensure that your organisation remains compliant with these laws, avoiding legal penalties and reputational damage.

Reputation and Trust

Instances of bribery and corruption can severely damage your organisation's reputation, leading to loss of trust from stakeholders, customers, and partners. An assessment helps you identify and address potential risks before they escalate.

Financial Impact

Bribery and corruption can lead to financial losses due to fines, legal fees, and operational disruptions. Assessments allow you to allocate resources effectively to prevent these losses.

Competitive Advantage

Demonstrating a commitment to ethical practices through a risk assessment can enhance your organisation's competitive advantage. It can attract ethical customers, investors, and partners who value integrity.

Stakeholder Confidence

Effective risk assessments enhance stakeholder confidence by showing that your organisation takes ethical concerns seriously and has measures in place to address them.

Internal Culture

Assessments encourage a culture of transparency, integrity, and compliance within your organisation. This can positively impact employee morale and behaviour.

Long-Term Sustainability

Mitigating bribery and corruption risks ensures the long-term sustainability of your organisation by minimising potential disruptions and legal challenges.

Global Operations

If your organisation operates internationally, you'll encounter varying legal and cultural landscapes. Assessments help you navigate these complexities and adapt your practices accordingly.


Many business partners and clients require evidence of anti-bribery and anti-corruption efforts. A risk assessment can provide assurance to these stakeholders.

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Bribery and Corruption Risk Assessment?

Conducting a Bribery and Corruption Risk Assessment involves several steps including:


  • Scope Definition: Clearly define the scope of your assessment, including the business units, functions, and geographic regions to be covered. Identify the objectives and expected outcomes of the assessment.
  • Risk Identification: Identify potential bribery and corruption risks within your organisation. Consider factors such as business operations, relationships with third parties, industry practices, and regulatory environments.
  • Data Collection: Gather relevant data, including financial records, transaction histories, policies and procedures, contracts, and communication records. Engage with employees, stakeholders, and experts to gain insights.
  • Risk Assessment: Evaluate the identified risks based on their likelihood and potential impact. This can be done using a risk matrix that categorises risks as high, medium, or low based on these factors.
  • Root Cause Analysis: Investigate the root causes of identified risks. Determine why these risks exist and what factors contribute to their occurrence.
  • Control Evaluation: Assess the existing controls and measures in place to mitigate bribery and corruption risks. Determine their effectiveness and identify gaps.
  • Risk Ranking: Prioritise risks based on their severity and potential consequences. Focus on addressing high-priority risks first.
  • Mitigation Strategies: Develop and implement mitigation strategies for high-priority risks. These strategies may include revising policies, enhancing due diligence procedures, conducting training, and strengthening internal controls.
  • Monitoring and Reporting: Establish a system for ongoing monitoring of risks and controls. Regularly report the progress of risk mitigation efforts to relevant stakeholders.
  • Training and Awareness: Educate employees and stakeholders about the risks of bribery and corruption, the organisation's policies, and how to report suspicious activities.
  • Documentation: Document the entire assessment process, including findings, analysis, mitigation strategies, and outcomes. This documentation serves as a reference for future assessments and audits.
  • Review and Continuous Improvement: Periodically review and update the assessment to ensure its relevance and effectiveness. Incorporate lessons learned and adapt strategies as needed.


Remember that each organisation's assessment process might vary based on its size, industry, and specific risk landscape. It's often helpful to involve legal experts, compliance professionals, and external consultants with expertise in anti-bribery and anti-corruption practices.

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Bribery and Corruption Risk Assessment

When conducting a Bribery and Corruption Risk Assessment, consider a range of risk factors that could potentially expose your organisation to these risks including:

Geographic Location

Different regions have varying levels of corruption and bribery risks. Consider the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index or similar resources to understand the risk level in specific countries or areas.

Industry and Sector

Certain industries or sectors, such as government contracts, construction, and natural resources, tend to have higher corruption risks due to their nature and interactions with public officials.

Business Relationships

Assess the integrity of your business partners, suppliers, and intermediaries. Third-party relationships can introduce significant bribery and corruption risks.

Government Interactions

Evaluate the nature and frequency of interactions with government officials. These interactions can include licences, permits, regulatory approvals, and customs procedures.

Financial Transactions

Review financial records for unusual or suspicious transactions, particularly those involving large sums of money, frequent cash transactions, or transactions with offshore entities.

Gifts and Hospitality

Assess your organisation's policies and practices related to gifts, entertainment, and hospitality offered to clients, suppliers, and officials. These can be avenues for bribery.

Due Diligence Procedures

Evaluate the effectiveness of your due diligence procedures for vetting potential business partners, clients, and suppliers. Inadequate due diligence can expose you to risks.

Employee Behaviour

Analyse the behaviour of employees, especially those in high-risk positions. Unethical behaviour, unexplained wealth, or frequent travel to high-risk countries could be indicators.

Regulatory Environment

Consider the local and international anti-corruption laws and regulations that apply to your organisation. Non-compliance can result in legal consequences.

Training and Awareness

Assess the level of training and awareness among employees regarding bribery and corruption risks. Lack of knowledge can lead to inadvertent violations.

Internal Controls

Review the effectiveness of internal controls related to financial reporting, procurement, and vendor management. Weak controls can facilitate corrupt practices.

Corporate Culture

Evaluate the organisation's culture, values, and tone from the top. A culture that tolerates unethical behaviour can increase the risk of bribery and corruption.

Whistleblower Mechanisms

Assess the existence and effectiveness of mechanisms for employees and stakeholders to report suspicions of bribery and corruption anonymously.

Political Contributions

Review the organisation's involvement in political contributions or donations, as these can be avenues for bribery.

Contracting Practices

Examine the terms and conditions in contracts with third parties. Ambiguous clauses or arrangements can lead to corrupt activities.

Mergers and Acquisitions

During due diligence for mergers or acquisitions, assess the target company's historical compliance with anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws.


Bribery and Corruption Risk and Control module?

We've developed a bribery and corruption risk and control module, the main risk groups, risk categories and risk factors contained in this module include:

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The content module overview provides an introduction to bribery and corruption, and outlines the necessity and methods for its implementation.

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