What is the difference between an acceptable business gift and a bribe? What kind of norms and structures should an organisation have in place to help its employees avoid ethical dilemmas and make the right decision? (200 Words)

Difference between Business Gift and Bribe is subtle to understand.
Basic difference is:
Gift is given to someone without any expectation in return. Value of gift are often based on closeness in relation, time of gifting, economic condition of giver and receiver.

Bribe is given with expectation of favour toward giver. Its economic value are incoherent to closeness in relation, timing (inappropriate timing) and costly. Business gifts may be a Costly Cricket match ticket, desk clock, sweets or even a cash envelope. Timing of such gifts makes them bribe. Suppose a gift from someone just before you are going to roll-out a tender, a calendar and desk accessories with bold name of pharma companies to doctor. Such things are actually bribe and not gift. Many MNC organisations have come up with norms and structures already. Some norms which are still needed are:

  1. Reporting to department about any gifts that is received from whom, value and date details. This part is already applicable to judicial judges in India.
  2. Any gifts above certain monetary values should be avoided.
  3. No gifts received with brand name should be put on desk as it will tarnish the image of official/public servant for lenient toward certain brand.
  4. Provision of filing gift tax by receiver. IT department should tally the gift received as mentioned in department books and filed by receiver. Failure to file tax for gift should be taken seriously.
  5. Scrutiny of gifts received by officials regularly and checking of property declaration regularly. Repeated gift from same person should be brought under Directorate Enforcement radar.
Bribes are complex thing for receiver because it puts him into moral dilemma for how to return the favour and makes them corrupt once they receive.



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