Crackdown on kick-backs in interior design sector
The British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) has launched a new anti-bribery campaign aimed at stamping out kick-backs in the sector, to co-incide with Anti-Corruption Day (9 December).
The BIID said it was aware of some interior designers asking for or being offered payments from suppliers that were not being disclosed to clients. It warned that when suppliers made secret payments that encouraged improper performance of the designer’s responsibilities to their client, then both could be committing an offence under the 2010 Bribery Act.
As part of a new campaign called ‘Kick Out the Kick-Backs’, the BIID is recommending that all interior design practices, whatever business model they use, review their own internal processes to ensure that they have relevant checks in place to avoid bribery and corruption. It recommended asking questions including:
- Does the practice use third party agents to introduce new business and/or negotiate on its behalf? If so, the bribery risk could be greater.
- If the practice receives corporate hospitality does it need internal guidelines on the sort of entertainment or gifts that are acceptable and those that are not?
- What due diligence does the practice carry out on new business partners?
- Is the management of the practice taking a lead on anti-bribery? Is it communicating a clear zero-tolerance message? Has it assessed the business’ susceptibility to bribery?
- Do employees need to be trained on bribery risks?
- Could the practice’s remuneration and incentive arrangements and practices potentially cause or lead to corrupt behaviour? Are the practice’s financial controls able to pick up any unusual or unexplained payments?
BIID president Harriet Ford said: “The purpose of the Kick Out The Kick-Backs campaign is to stamp out illegal business practices that damage the entire profession in order to foster a more honest and ethical design industry.
“The BIID is not aiming to impose a one-size-fits-all business model on the UK interior design profession and we recognise that different clients, regions and sectors may have different fee structures. However, we believe that greater transparency between designers and clients will lead to better working relationships that benefit designers, suppliers and clients alike.”
Kick Out The Kick-Backs is being supported by several national organisations including:
- Anti-Copying In Design (ACID)
- Association of Consultant Architects (ACA)
- Association of Project Management (APM)
- British Institute of Kitchen Bedroom and Bathroom Installation (BIKBBI)
- Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)
- The Furniture Ombudsman
- National Association of Shopfitters and Contractors (NAS)