INTRODUCTION TO BRIBERY AND CORRUPTION
What Bribery and Corruption means
- Bribery is a specific offence which concerns the practice of offering something, usually money, to gain an illicit advantage.
- Corruption is an abuse of a position of trust in order to gain an undue advantage.
The Consequences of Bribery and Corruption
Bribery and corruption have serious consequences for companies operating in an international business environment. In such an environment, companies are operating under serious pressure, competition is stiff and margins are tight. This, in conjunction with trying to adapt to unfamiliar legal systems, conventions and specific political circumstances, can make doing business very difficult. There is therefore much depending on whether a company can win a contract, obtain a licence or market a product in good time.
- The consequences of bribery and corruption are very serious from an economic perspective, with the World Bank estimating that 0.5% of GDP is lost each year.
- It also creates and unfavourable business environment, particularly in relation to trade and Foreign Direct Investment and it allows organised crime to thrive unimpeded.
Tackling Bribery and Corruption Globally
Thankfully, the fight against corruption has been strengthened substantially on national and international levels in the last number of years and in the following ways
- The international community has committed itself to a number of international treaties to establish corrupt practices both at home and abroad as criminal offences.
- As part of process to improve prevention and detection individual countries are monitored to see how they comply with their international commitments and whether additional efforts are necessary.
Ireland’s Commitment to Tackling Bribery and Corruption
- Ireland is very committed to ensuring that bribes to officials either at home or abroad are treated as criminal offences.
- It is also committed to raising awareness of its obligations under international treaties or conventions so that a level playing field can be created for all companies operating internationally.