U.K. Charity Commission Says Facilitation Payments are Unacceptable

from ThirdSector (UK):

Overseas ‘facilitation payments’ are unacceptable, says Charity Commission

New guidance from the Charity Commission says facilitation payments given by charities operating overseas to local individuals who enable aid work to take place are “an unacceptable use of charity funds”.

The guidance, published yesterday, says some charities work in local cultures in which these payments are the norm. But it warns that they constitute bribery under the Bribery Act 2010, which came into force this month, and could result in prosecution.

… The commission’s guidance says: “Charities may encounter corruption wherever they operate. However, in some areas of activity and in some parts of the world, bribery can be found to be more deeply embedded in cultures, and charity officials might be tempted to adopt and conform to prevailing custom or local standards and values.

“As a matter of general principle and to comply with the trustees’ legal duties, trustees should avoid any situation where there is an expectation of a gift or payment in return for an advantage of any kind.”