Macmillan Publishers to pay $17m and banned from World Bank tenders for paying officials to secure an education deal in South Sudan

Any company stands to lose a lot, if it is not diligent in its anti-corruption, fraud and bribery compliance. Besides penalties, costs, lost opportunities to compete for public tenders it's a question of irreparable loss of both character and reputation.

According to Serious Fraud Office reports, Macmillan Education made 'improper and unauthorized payments' to officials in an unsuccessful bid to secure a contract to print English language teaching and school curriculum materials in South Sudan.

In addition to the three-year ban on taking part in World Bank tenders, Macmillan has decided to cease all live and prospective public tenders in its education division business in east and west Africa, regardless of the source of funds.

Macmillan Publishers' case is yet another demonstration that companies across all sectors operating in Africa will be subjected to heightened scrutiny in the wake of the implementation of the UK Bribery Act.

This case illustrates how much a company stands to lose if it is not diligent in its anti-corruption and bribery compliance, costs incurred not just in fines but lost opportunities to compete for public tenders on offer under World Bank development initiatives.

Recent high profile cases and moves towards legislative reform in Nigeria, South Africa and Angola show that the scrutiny will not only come from international enforcers but from across Sub-Saharan Africa anti-corruption bodies.

Source: - The Guardian