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On giving and receiving: What does your hospitality policy say?

Venkat Pillai (venkatkpillai@yahoo.com) is a former director of a large accounting firm, based in Pune, India.

Giving gifts and providing hospitality and entertainment are considered an Achilles’ heel for any compliance leader. Considering the potential compromises and violation of the law, the legal implications are far too many. The US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the UK Bribery Act are equally stringent and have had complementary compulsive effects in countries that were vested with the task of drafting provisions and rules to combat bribery and corruption. It needs to be mentioned that the governments of countries like India and Japan, which have trade and commercial relationships with the US and UK, have followed suit in drafting equally, if not more, stringent laws. These legislations have exercised considerable pressure on corporations to be fully compliant. In light of this, let us understand how effective gift, hospitality, and entertainment policies and procedures help organizations combat bribery and corruption and become truly compliant.

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