Your client is bidding to re-generate a village in a rural area. This is a big project, with a number of public bodies involved. Whilst the local council and the Department for Communities and Local Government seem to be supportive of your client’s bid, some NGOs have concerns about the impact on the local environment. Aware of your connections to the leadership of one of these NGOs, the client asks you to call in some favours to help end their opposition. In return, the client offers to sign you up to their company car scheme.

In this example, the connections you have with the NGO would make accepting a car a bribe.  Both offering and accepting a bribe is prohibited by the Bribery Act 2010.  However, using your knowledge and expertise to better understand the different facets of the debate, thus helping your client to make their case, would not be in breach of the Code.  Any contact with the NGO must be open and transparent.

Clause 7 of the APPC Code of Conduct states

Save for entertainment and token business mementoes, political practitioners must not offer or give, or cause a client to offer or give, any financial or other incentive to any member or representative of an institution of government, whether elected, appointed or co-opted, that could be construed in any way as a bribe or solicitation of favour.  Political practitioners must not accept any financial or other incentive, from whatever source, that could be construed in any way as a bribe or solicitation of favour.