Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bribery, corruption and trips

On the Third Sector website I was reading that the Oxfam Finance Director was concerned that charities might be tripped up by the new Bribery Act unless sector guidance was issued. The Act creates new offences including one which relates to businesses that fail to take sufficient steps to prevent bribery involving their employees or agents.

The Bribery Act might well affect the education sector too. Colleges and schools take learners to fascinating and exotic places. Some destinations have endemic corruption. For example, students sometimes visit Russia – 154th out of 178 in the Transparency International league table.

I have travelled widely in the former Soviet Union so have had bribes extracted from me directly or via taxi drivers. On one holiday I had to cross the border of the breakaway Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic on four occasions – on three of them, I had to pay a “fine” or make a “present” to the border guards for fear of ending up in a prison of an unrecognised statelet with which Britain has no consular relations!

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