At the end of June, the Japan In-House Counsel Network (JICN) in Tokyo convened another of their JICN 301 series of small group discussions, this time on the topic of “Dealing with bribery”. The one-hour discussion was facilitated by Royanne Doi, corporate chief ethics officer, Prudential Financial Inc, and Ben Fouracre, managing director & Japan representative, FTI Consulting.
JICN 301 is a closed-door, off-the-record discussion to share the experiences and practices of in-house counsel. Seating is limited and all attendees are expected to have experience in the subject matter, and actively participate.
The JICN reported that concern about bribery and facilitation payments is a significant issue for in-house counsel, with daily scandals in the international press. Like other companies, Japanese companies, or subsidiaries of global companies, are exposed and forced to account for their activities and behaviour.
The JICN discussion looked at how, by their nature, bribes can be hard to detect, and once discovered they can be an exceptional challenge for companies. Uncovering a bribe often happens at a time of operational vulnerability and presents legal risks, financial and reputational damage, and operational impact.
The discussion focused on the challenges of dealing with bribery including how to: understand and mitigate risk; investigate issues; implement an adequate programme and supportive corporate culture; and influence the operating environment. Fouracre provided the group with some real-life scenarios, while Doi shared her company’s philosophy of creating a culture that encourages employees to share good ideas in addition to concerns.
For updates on the next JICN 301 sessions, send an email to: [email protected]