Bribery Act has little effect on corportate entertainers

The introduction of the revised Bribery Act has had very little impact on corporate entertainers and the amount they spend on events like attending corporate venues, eventmagazine.co.uk reports.

The act, which took effect in July 2011 and allows for “reasonable and proportionate hospitality” has only led to an 18 per cent reduction in corporate spending. That’s according to the FIDS (Fraud, Investigations and Disputes Services) department at Ernst & Young.

Nearly seven in ten (68 per cent) say that the new rules have made no difference – or no noticeable spending differences – in their hospitality activities.

Revisions to the Bribery Act came following concerns that some companies may take advantage of their positions in hospitality to get friendly with clients around such lavish settings as the Olympic Games, Wimbledon or the Grand Prix for example, says ft.com.

However, the law has left many in the industry confused about how much is too much in the world of entertaining guests.

John Smart, a partner at Ernst & Young, said: “The best protection for firms that want to avoid issues with the Bribery Act is to publish and enforce clear, written policies regarding any gifts, expenses or hospitality that might influence or be seen to influence their business dealings in any way.”

Mr Smart added that the field is still mired as the Ministry of Justice and the Serious Fraud Office have failed to provide financial limits as a form of guidance.

The best measure as yet, he continued, is for an executive to consider whether they would be happy if details of their corporate hospitality were to leak – particularly in the age of social networking and increasing scrutiny over lavish spending.