At the end of March 2011, the Justice Secretary, Kenneth Clarke announced that the Bribery Act 2010 will come into force on 1 July 2011. The new Act replaces, updates and extends the existing UK law against bribery and corruption. This important new legislation:
The introduction into law of the new corporate offence of failure of commercial organisations to prevent bribery is an important development that essentially requires all businesses to consider the requirements of the new Act. This new corporate offence is coupled with a defence where, if the business can show that it had ‘adequate procedures’ in place to prevent bribery, it can be protected from committing the new criminal offence.
All businesses should now familiarise themselves with the statutory guidance and begin to assess the risk of bribery occurring in the business. The extent of any further action will be dependent on the results of this risk assessment.
The Act also requires the government to produce guidance on what constitutes ‘adequate procedures’ and the Ministry of Justice has produced this. This can be found using the links below.
Posted – 28/04/2011