Consultations and Articles
Bribery Act 2010 and ‘adequate procedures’ consultation
The Ministry of Justice (‘MoJ’) has published a consultation on its draft guidance for implementing 'adequate procedures' to prevent companies committing an offence of paying and receiving bribes under the Bribery Act 2010 (‘the Act’). The Act was passed in April 2010 and is due to come into force in April 2011.The Guidance, which the Government is obliged to provide under section 9(1) of the Act, is intended to be published in January next year.
This new ‘corporate offence’, where an organisation fails to prevent persons performing services on its behalf from committing bribery, is a key element of the Act and applies to all corporates who carry on a business, or part of a business, in the United Kingdom.
The only defence for an entity being prosecuted for this offence is to show that it had ‘adequate procedures’ in place designed to prevent bribery being carried out on its behalf. The MoJ Guidance does not prescribe what would amount to ‘adequate procedures’ but it does set out six principles that have been devised to help businesses understand the types of policies and procedures that they should adopt in order to prevent bribery occurring within their organisation.These principles are risk assessment; top level commitment; due diligence; clear, practical and accessible policies and procedures; effective implementation and monitoring and review.
The MoJ states that “The new law will introduce a clear and robust approach and is intended to encourage commercial organisations to take steps to address the risks of bribery.” Their consultation on the Guidance ends on 8 November 2010. Responses to the consultation can be made by post, online or via email.Alternatively, any members who would like us to take their comments into consideration should e-mail the Professional Standards team at firstname.lastname@example.org before 5 November. Take part in the Bribery Act consultation at: http://www.justice.gov.uk/consultations/briberyactconsultation.htm