One year later, do you comply with the Bribery Act?
13th July 2012
The Bribery Act 2010 was a year old on 1 July. Twelve months ago it introduced two general offences of bribing and being bribed, and two specific offences of bribing a foreign public official and failing to prevent bribery.
The Act affects all UK organisations, wherever they operate, and non-UK organisations that carry on business in the UK. Penalties for breaching the Act include unlimited fines, imprisonment and director disqualification.
Who’s at risk?
All organisations are at some risk of bribery and corruption, those most at risk:
- operate in high risk sectors (such as aerospace, chemicals, utilities, and construction);
- work with foreign public officials;
- use third parties, such as agents, to facilitate business; and
- those without proper compliance programmes.
Directors and senior managers can be guilty of an offence, if their organisation fails to prevent anyone associated with them from bribing another person on their behalf, by not having adequate procedures in place.
The story so far
When the Act first hit the statute books, five large prosecutions were expected in the first three years. So far there’s been none. However, it’s clear that many organisations still need to take action to comply with the Act.
Their survey said
In Ernst & Young’s Global Fraud Survey involving 1700 heads of legal, chief financial officers and compliance executives, 47% said they would still complete unethical actions and 14% would still provide personal gifts to secure business.