Corruption in firms most commonly found out by chance

Corruption in firms most commonly found out by chance

Most corruption in Irish firms is discovered by chance, a report from Deloitte has found.

The report said 15% of businesses have experienced bribery and corruption, with 23% of known incidents related to undisclosed conflicts of interest, and 17% of leaking to a third party.

Bribery and corruption being uncovered by chance was the most common, with a quarter detected this way, the report found.

Admission of guilt accounted for 20%, and whistleblowing 15%, the report found.

Deloitte Ireland forensic partner Deirdre Carwood said bribery and corruption can damage a business’s reputation.

"However, our survey shows that, overall, bribery and corruption is still not well understood in Ireland, despite it being a reality of doing business in both domestic and foreign markets. Embedding this area into risk programmes is now more important than ever," she added.

Ms Carwood said the Criminal Justice (Corruption Offences) Act 2018 means a firm can be found guilty if an offence is committed by an employee or third party.

"To defend itself against proceedings brought against it, a business will need to prove that it took all reasonable steps and exercised all due diligence to prevent the issue occurring," she said.

Despite the legislation, under one in five firms see bribery and corruption as a key risk.

"There is an obvious disconnect here. People remain at the heart of preventing domestic corruption," Ms Carwood said.

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