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Bribery Act 2010
Paying and receiving bribes has been a criminal offence for a number of years, however, The Bribery Act 2010 introduced two new offences:-
- “Bribing a Foreign Public Official and bribing Foreign Public” (a “public offence”).
- “Failure of commercial organisations to prevent bribery” (“corporate offence”). Commercial organisations will need to show that they have adequate procedures in place to prevent bribery by “Associated Persons” i.e. employees, agents, subsidiaries or joint venture partners.The Ministry of Justice has referred to the following points:-
- Proportionate procedures – these should be tailored to the company and the risk it encounters. Policies should be prepared and implemented on bribery and corruption, hospitality and gifts and staff / company handbooks should be amended as appropriate.
- Top level commitment i.e. discussed at board level and minuted.
- Risk assessment – there needs to be a structure in place to show that actions have been considered.
- Due Diligence with regard to suppliers, agents and other associated persons. Companies and Limited Liability Partnerships need to know with whom they are dealing and ensure that those persons comply with the new legislation.
- Communication i.e. with employees, suppliers and agents and training should be provided where appropriate.
- Procedures should be monitored and reviewed to ensure compliance.