back to article Corporate hospitality is OK, says new Bribery Act guidance

The Bribery Act will not lead to a large number of prosecutions and will not outlaw corporate hospitality, the Government has said in long-awaited guidance on last year's Bribery Act. The guidance also makes it clear that small companies could communicate their anti-bribery policies orally and still meet the requirements of the …

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Anonymous Coward

No point

"The guidance makes clear that no one is going to try to stop businesses getting to know their clients by taking them to events like Wimbledon, Twickenham or the Grand Prix," said Clarke. "Reasonable hospitality to meet, network and improve relationships with customers is a normal part of business."

In which case - what's the point of the fecking guidance then?

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Anonymous Coward

Duh...

...MPs and civil servants are sure going to outlaw the corporate hospitality they so much enjoy. What would they do then - spend their OWN money on going out?

I don't think so.

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@Tom

"spend their OWN money on going out?"

No - spend ours. Remember, the poor must subsidise those bars in Westminster whilst being told about the dangers of drink.

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Anonymous Coward

Can I now claim my train commute to work

Can I now claim my commute to work as its more a social networking interaction - meeting new elbows, group bonding. I certainly wouldn't call it travel.

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Bung Bunga?

as title

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Corporate Hostility

It's the Corporate Hospitality bollocks that has ruined many events as they are paying top money and usually the big sponsors for the event - whether it's music or sporting or whatever.

Uninterested arseholes fill the 'executive' or 'VIP' areas that take prominent position while those who actually wanted to attend and paid thier own money are treated like shit.

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Anonymous Coward

"establish cordial relations"

Usefully vague language ... Party on!

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Thumb Down

'networking' + tennis?

Sounds like my own personal version of hell that.

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Coat

vague language?

IIRC the wording of the guidance we were all made to read, in response to the original legislation, ruled out stuff like "paying people to facilitate or expedite the business of the company" and "accepting money to facilitate or expedite the business of any company" which to me sounded like it's illegal to pay us, and illegal for us to do work.

My interpretation didn't catch on.

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But of course they will allow corporate "hospitality"

Because, really, it's obvious that serious business discussions always occur around sporting or media events like golf tournaments, football matches, tennis encounters and whatnot. That's where the real decisions are made. If they forbade that, the economy would grind to a halt !

Come on, people, be reasonable. You don't actually expect your elected officials to "work" from their offices, do you ?

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Go

Speaking as a former snout...

In a previous life I was a journalist, and enjoyed quite a lot of 'corporate hospitality'. So I feel qualified to clarify here:

It's not about 'getting business done', it's about getting people to show up. Send me an invite to two press conferences on the same day, and all other things being equal, I'm going to accept the one that comes with a six-course meal at the Ritz, rather than the one with the cold buffet in a bleak meeting room in Newport Pagnell.

And having turned up, I'll meet the company's flacks, I'll know their names, I'll recognise their logo when I see it on their letterhead, and I'm that much more likely to take time to read it.

Corruption? Maybe. But it's more than common, it's virtually universal practice, and I have yet to hear of any country in the history of the world that has successfully outlawed it (though some have tried).

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Joke

But it does not answer the important question.

Where the 'hoes be at.

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Stop

"Guidance" is not law

The anti-terrorist legislation was not ever designed to be used by councils against parents trying to get their children into better schools.

A politician's word is not worth much these days, about as much as a banker's.

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Anonymous Coward

@Michael Fremlins

As the old American saying has it,

"With a politician's promise and a quarter, you can buy a cup of coffee".

You can tell it's an old saying because nowadays it's five bucks instead of a quarter.

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Anonymous Coward

What matters is...

...what's on the statute book. Kindly words about how it's intended to work have no legal standing (analogous with judges' obiter dicta) - just let our overpaid idle civil servants get their hands on it and it will be gold plated, over interpreted "what, you mean you ADMIT that this guy came to your offices and you GAVE him a plastic cup of Nescafe? And then he signed a contract - as clear a case of bribery as I've ever heard".

Yes I do agree about the effect of corporate entertainment on major sporting and cultural events getting packed with idiots who don't actually give a damn about the event, just the food, booze and maybe the contacts (just how much "networking" can you do if you're taking any notice of the event?) but this isn't the right tool to deal with that.

Why can't we be like the Europeans (Well French and Italians anyway) and have civil servants whose job it is to make sure any EU legislation (not that this is EU inspired - is it? I don't know) they don't like is simply disregarded.

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