Corruption widespread

24 April 2008

A new survey by the UK's Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) found that 51% of UK construction professionals believe corruption is common in the country's construction industry. Some of the most serious infringements, such as concealment of bribes and the employment of illegal workers, were perceived to be among the most widespread.

Many of the 1400 respondents, many whom were senior managers or directors, said they had direct experience of corruption and 41% said they had been offered a bribe on at least one occasion. The majority of respondents said neither the Government nor the industry was doing enough to combat corruption.

The survey also highlighted a lack of awareness to what constitutes a corrupt practice. Almost a quarter of respondents said they did not think collusion with competitors was a serious breach of competition laws, and 37% had a similar attitude to ‘cover pricing' - submitting a bid that is to high in order to avoid winning a contract, but to remain on a list of preferred contractors.

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