The Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services team at Ernst & Young has released research revealing that nearly half (48%) of British firms are failing to vet their suppliers for compliance with the UK Bribery Act, and that only 6% would re-tender if they discovered their suppliers were not compliant.   

The study polled procurement managers and directors from a wide range of firms across the UK. The study found that while midmarket firms are often less likely to have robust processes and systems in place to counter bribery risk, companies at both ends of the spectrum appeared complacent when it came to vetting their suppliers for compliance with the Act.

Ernst & Young’s study found that even though 60% of firms with a turnover of £5m to £50m currently vet their suppliers to assess whether their business practices comply with UK Bribery Act, 16% of these midmarket firms would ‘do nothing’ if their suppliers fail to comply. Moreover, amongst those firms that do not currently vet their suppliers, 60% reported that they are not planning to implement any anti-bribery programmes in the future.

The research also revealed that only 40% of larger firms (those with a turnover of more than £50 million) would remove suppliers from their supply chain if they fail to comply with the Act.