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  Reply # 1645676 5-Oct-2016 09:38
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networkn:

 

Rikkitic:

 

I haven't worked in public service but when I was a journalist I would sometimes be offered lavish meals and other perks in the course of doing interviews or research. I always refused these as a matter of principle. Not all would have been crossing any lines, but it is just too difficult to say this is okay, that isn't. It was simpler to always make a point of paying my own way. It was different when I was working for company publications and was offered hospitality as part of the job. No conflicts of interest there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I often wonder how impartial travel reporters are. 

 

 

 

 

Some are impartial. It's an industry where relationships blur into business, unlike OP's situation which is clearly unethical.

Years ago reporters from both the New York Times and L.A. Times came on our Canadian tours (at separate times).
The first we knew of each one was when the newspapers called to offer us advertising space, as we were to be featured in an upcoming travel section.

 

However we also had writers - particularly for 'Travel Magazines' - who came pre-arranged through Tourism Marketing Groups or Promotional Organisations.
You 'bid' for their pleasure of their company by offering free or 'fam' tours which were combined into packages those groups would arrange for them.

There was always the -obvious- threat that by not joining in when your competitors did, you'd be at a marketing disadvantage.
And the less obvious that by schmoozing up to these people you'd be treated differently in the future by the organisations themselves.
You could miss out on invites to Tourism conferences, places on advisory committees, even access to lobbyists on upcoming Federal and Provincial legislation..

We also had several 'freelance' journalists who booked through normal channels, announced themselves on arrival or during the tours.
Had no problem with them, they paid and we treated them like normal guests.


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  Reply # 1645763 5-Oct-2016 11:06
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Geektastic: Whilst out and out bribery is usually fairly obvious, hospitality is and always has been a fairly common way of greasing the wheels....

 

The perspective in Asia and the middle east is different. "Hospitality" is a normal way of doing business.  Suppliers and contractors have hospitality budgets and they are expected to spend them - it reflects badly on sales people if a contract is lost while the budget is left unspent.

 

In the business I work in a common form of "hospitality" was the overseas factory visit. Particularly popular with Japanese and HK suppliers.  We had a policy of accepting "hospitality" provided our project client/owner was happy with it.  This invariably resulted in the client/owner being included in the invitation.  Some of the most pleasant and informative trips I have experienced, and everyone is happy.  As I say, a different perspective.





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  Reply # 1645793 5-Oct-2016 11:48
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mclean:

 

Geektastic: Whilst out and out bribery is usually fairly obvious, hospitality is and always has been a fairly common way of greasing the wheels....

 

The perspective in Asia and the middle east is different. "Hospitality" is a normal way of doing business.  Suppliers and contractors have hospitality budgets and they are expected to spend them - it reflects badly on sales people if a contract is lost while the budget is left unspent.

 

In the business I work in a common form of "hospitality" was the overseas factory visit. Particularly popular with Japanese and HK suppliers.  We had a policy of accepting "hospitality" provided our project client/owner was happy with it.  This invariably resulted in the client/owner being included in the invitation.  Some of the most pleasant and informative trips I have experienced, and everyone is happy.  As I say, a different perspective.

 

 

Agreed. I have seen this when I have been working in Asia.

 

The UK introduced a barking mad law a few years ago that made Directors liable if their companies engaged in this sort of thing overseas. AFAICS it just meant British companies were going to lose out for no good reason.

 

Hospitality has always been a common way of doing business since the year dot and the 'modern Puritanism' we have seen over the last few years is unlikely to change that.






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  Reply # 1645805 5-Oct-2016 12:04
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Geektastic:

 

Whilst out and out bribery is usually fairly obvious.

 

 

That's actually not the case at all.  You underestimate perhaps, the great skill used in devising schemes to avoid it being obvious at all, and efforts to make sure there's no paper trail.  I think that NZ is probably pretty clean by world standards, but it's not easy to know, corruption indices tend to be based on perception which may or may not correlate directly with reality.


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  Reply # 1645811 5-Oct-2016 12:08
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Yes, Minister - season 3, episode 4 "The Moral Dimension."  Hacker and Sir Humphrey debate the nature of bribery versus "extra-contractual arrangements"

 

https://youtu.be/ELyPYmfUcgE?t=719

 

"Minister, that is a narrow and parochial view.  In other parts of the world they see things quite differently."

 

"Humphrey, sin is not a branch of geography!"

 

 


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  Reply # 1645819 5-Oct-2016 12:19
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If an Asian company provides hospitality to a business with which it is negotiating, does it not expect something in return? Would offense be taken if it then did not get the contract? What is the distinction between hospitality and bribery in a case like this?

 

 





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  Reply # 1645828 5-Oct-2016 12:31
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Rikkitic:

 

If an Asian company provides hospitality to a business with which it is negotiating, does it not expect something in return? Would offense be taken if it then did not get the contract? What is the distinction between hospitality and bribery in a case like this?

 

 

 

 

 

 

People should be a bit careful when using the general term "Asian" to stereotype.  It's a very wide region, culturally diverse, economically diverse.  You might find that mutual obligations and expectations when forming and maintaining a a business relationship with a Japanese and Indian company, to give a couple of examples, they may as well be from different planets.


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  Reply # 1645852 5-Oct-2016 12:55
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Good point. I was using the term generically and as a follow-on from the usage in previous posts. A better phrasing would be "If a company..."





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  Reply # 1645900 5-Oct-2016 13:32
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Technofreak:

 

Would you be surprised to hear I heard of bribery going on at a certain city council about 20 years ago. The deals yours, you bill us this amount (more than list price) and you provide me with the following benefits.

 

It's been going on for a while in various forms, fortunately it's not as widespread here as some parts of the world.

 

 

 

Edit; I have no sympathy for such actions. These people are ripping off you and Me.

 

 

Bah it happens from the highest to the lowest levels. From UN to FIFA to JW Bush to non US government ministers to their sub managers to Fonterra (remember the Chinese manager that was hung out to dry when Fonterra were caught bribing?) right down. Usually the big shots either know or make their own rules so they are not the ones that get done.





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  Reply # 1645903 5-Oct-2016 13:35
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Fred99:

 

Rikkitic:

 

If an Asian company provides hospitality to a business with which it is negotiating, does it not expect something in return? Would offense be taken if it then did not get the contract? What is the distinction between hospitality and bribery in a case like this?

 

 

 

 

 

 

People should be a bit careful when using the general term "Asian" to stereotype.  It's a very wide region, culturally diverse, economically diverse.  You might find that mutual obligations and expectations when forming and maintaining a a business relationship with a Japanese and Indian company, to give a couple of examples, they may as well be from different planets.

 

 

I did a 2 word google search. Fonterra, Bribery ... have fun!





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  Reply # 1645904 5-Oct-2016 13:37
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Fred99:

 

networkn:

 

Rikkitic:

 

I haven't worked in public service but when I was a journalist I would sometimes be offered lavish meals and other perks in the course of doing interviews or research. I always refused these as a matter of principle. Not all would have been crossing any lines, but it is just too difficult to say this is okay, that isn't. It was simpler to always make a point of paying my own way. It was different when I was working for company publications and was offered hospitality as part of the job. No conflicts of interest there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I often wonder how impartial travel reporters are. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And motoring "reporters".

 

Want to drive Nürburgring in the R8 and GT3 RS ?

 

Looking forward to reading your review on the Polo.

 

 

One person I used to fancy comes to mind ... Jeremy Clarkson ...





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  Reply # 1645940 5-Oct-2016 14:21
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Rikkitic: If an Asian company provides hospitality to a business with which it is negotiating, does it not expect something in return? Would offense be taken if it then did not get the contract? What is the distinction between hospitality and bribery in a case like this?

 

I think it depends on who is benefitting.  If I'm building a house and potential contractors offer me free trips or whatever then that's just fine. If I engage an architect to tender and recommend a contractor and he/she gets an inducement then it's probably a bribe.  But if the architect takes me along on the free trips then I'm happy.  By the same argument, for a public servant almost any inducement is a bribe.





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  Reply # 1645949 5-Oct-2016 14:34
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mclean:

 

Rikkitic: If an Asian company provides hospitality to a business with which it is negotiating, does it not expect something in return? Would offense be taken if it then did not get the contract? What is the distinction between hospitality and bribery in a case like this?

 

I think it depends on who is benefitting.  If I'm building a house and potential contractors offer me free trips or whatever then that's just fine. If I engage an architect to tender and recommend a contractor and he/she gets an inducement then it's probably a bribe.  But if the architect takes me along on the free trips then I'm happy.  By the same argument, for a public servant almost any inducement is a bribe.

 

 

 

 

As far as public servants go, long ago in the days of yore when I worked at the MoD in the UK, the rule was that if the 'gift' had a monetary value of 25 GBP or less (would probably equate to 50 GBP now - about NZ$100) then it was OK. This was intended to avoid the silliness of having to return things like free calendars, boxes of chocolates or whatever which were considered too de minimis to be of concern.

 

Over that, the gift had to be recorded in the office Gift Register and the Head Of Office advised. He would then decide on the appropriate action.

 

When I worked at the government here, I am sure there were similar rules but no situation ever arose where I might have needed to know them!

 

 

 

The other thing is context. 

 

"If you give me the contract, I will give you this case of wine" is a bribe.

 

"Thanks for giving us that contract, here's a case of wine (that you had never heard of before)" is less of a bribe and more something else.

 

It is also a question of scale - I do not much care about people having lunch bought etc ( life is way too short to have no fun at all) but if it gets to be Range Rovers being bought then clearly there is an issue...!






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  Reply # 1645952 5-Oct-2016 14:43
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Geektastic:

 

 

 

 

 

As far as public servants go, long ago in the days of yore when I worked at the MoD in the UK, the rule was that if the 'gift' had a monetary value of 25 GBP or less (would probably equate to 50 GBP now - about NZ$100) then it was OK. This was intended to avoid the silliness of having to return things like free calendars, boxes of chocolates or whatever which were considered too de minimis to be of concern.

 

Over that, the gift had to be recorded in the office Gift Register and the Head Of Office advised. He would then decide on the appropriate action.

 

When I worked at the government here, I am sure there were similar rules but no situation ever arose where I might have needed to know them!

 

 

 

The other thing is context. 

 

"If you give me the contract, I will give you this case of wine" is a bribe.

 

"Thanks for giving us that contract, here's a case of wine (that you had never heard of before)" is less of a bribe and more something else.

 

It is also a question of scale - I do not much care about people having lunch bought etc ( life is way too short to have no fun at all) but if it gets to be Range Rovers being bought then clearly there is an issue...!

 

 

 

 

Similar when I was in the Civil Service, anything under $50 was fine, anything over that had to be declared and approved. For example getting a Flash drive, pens etc  was OK but an offsite funded by a vendor had to be declared and approved beforehand. Going out for a working lunch it was either easier for me to put it on my office CC or pay it and claim it as an expense. 





Mike
Retired IT Manager. 
The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

 Mac user, Windows curser, Chrome OS desired.

 

The great divide is the lies from both sides.

 

 


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  Reply # 1645960 5-Oct-2016 14:49
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Geektastic:

 

 

 

It is also a question of scale - I do not much care about people having lunch bought etc ( life is way too short to have no fun at all) but if it gets to be Range Rovers being bought then clearly there is an issue...!

 

 

If you factor in the rate of inflation based on CEO salary since those rules were first introduced ... a Range Rover would be quite within the scale of things.





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