One of Colossal Corporation’s import-export companies, Global Shippers, Inc., a New York–based company with facilities in over 37 countries including the United Kingdom, recently submitted a bid for an exclusive contract with the government of the small country Neristan. The contract would provide Global Shippers with the exclusive right to export goods from Neristan’s government-owned factories to the United States for distribution and sale. It is projected that this contract would provide over $20 million in revenue to Global Shippers per year, increase its stock value, and allow the company to expand its international operations and employee base.
Shortly after Global Shippers submitted the bid, Neristan’s prime minister invited the CEO of Global Shippers, Robert Manning, to dine with him at the most luxurious restaurant in Neristan.
After Roger arrived to the dinner, the prime minister ordered the most expensive bottle of wine on the menu, and as they drank, he made a proposal to Manning. The prime minister said, “Here in Neristan we value relationships above all else, and we have a great opportunity to help each other.” He went on to say that he was recently tasked with “selecting the best company for Neristan’s contract,” and he thought that “Global Shippers has what it takes.”
Manning was excited by the prime minister’s comments. He agreed, “There is the potential here for a great relationship.” Manning gratefully accepted the prime minister’s offer of another glass of wine and listened intently. The prime minister then went on to say, “It is customary in Neristan for business associates to help each other prosper, and if you ensure a payment of $100,000 is wired to my personal account in the next week, I will make sure that Global Shippers gets the contract.”
Manning, who had dealt with similar requests from other foreign diplomats in the past, responded, “I’m afraid that such payments are prohibited in my country, but why don’t I fly you to New York tomorrow so we can discuss business further?” Manning went on to say, “The trip will be all expenses paid, and you will stay in the penthouse at the finest New York hotel. If, after we are done conducting business, you want to see the sites, I can show you around the city, and you can stay on us for a while.”
The prime minister gratefully accepted Manning’s offer, and Manning paid the $3,500 bill for the dinner and wine on his corporate account. The next day the two flew first-class back to New York. After conducting business in New York for a day, the prime minister and Manning traveled around the city, went to the theatre on Broadway, and dined in the finest restaurants. Everything was paid for by Manning’s corporate accounts. After several luxurious days in New York, the two of them then flew first-class to Los Angeles, where, after several days of “living it up on the town,” they met with Global Shippers Inc.’s board of directors, and the prime minister announced that Global Shippers had been awarded the contract. The prime minister stayed in Los Angeles, all expenses paid, for two weeks after this meeting, and then flew back to Neristan.
In the meantime, upon the announcement of the contract acquisition, Global Shippers Inc.’s stock skyrocketed, and the company began hiring more warehouse employees in Neristan and the United States to manage its new lucrative contract. Manning received a substantial bonus from Global Shippers Inc.’s board of directors for his excellent work related to acquiring the Neristan contract.
Six months later, the first shipment of goods was ready to leave Neristan and go to the United States, but the customs officials on the Neristan border refused to allow the goods to leave the dock. The customs officials stated that they needed time to inspect the goods for illegal contraband and that it could be weeks before they were cleared for shipment. Manning, who was visiting the prime minister at the time, was called to the customs office by his head warehouse employee. Manning slipped the customs officials $100 each and asked if they could expedite the shipment. The goods were cleared the next day, and the first shipment left for the United States.
A few weeks later the prime minister of Neristan was arrested by Neristan authorities for embezzling government funds. Manning began to worry that some of his actions may have crossed the lines into illegal or unethical activity and (given his close relationship with the prime minister) that he may soon also become the subject of investigation. He called the vice president at Colossal Corporation, told him the whole story, and asked him if he could help defend the legality and ethics of his actions.
Using the case file above, resources attached and any other supporting documentation found answer the following questions:
- Were Manning’s actions legal under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and what are the possible penalties for violating the act?
- Were Manning’s actions legal under the UK Bribery Act and what are the possible penalties for violating the act?
- Were Manning’s actions ethical, particularly in light of differing cultural norms?
When answering these questions, be sure to apply the following guidelines: Provide a full explanation for why all his actions were or were not legal and ethical in your discussion, including a full rationale for each conclusion. This discussion needs to be about 2 pages. Respond to at least 1 classmates discussion post. (Will give you 2-3 responses for you to choice the one you would like to reply to)