The Bribery Act 2010
By Bill Jones, Managing Partner JMW Solicitors Manchester
At long last after all the huff and puff the Bribery Act came into force on the 1st July 2011. Your business may be liable for failing to prevent a person from bribing on your behalf but only if that person performs services for you in business. It is very unlikely therefore that you will be liable for the actions of someone who simply supplies goods to you
Organisations and their employees should be made aware of the new law and its implications as there is a full defence if you can show you had adequate procedures have been put in place to prevent bribery. What counts as “adequate” will depend on the bribery risks you may face.
Most businesses in the UK should be able to demonstrate compliance of the act by carrying out a risk assessment of the likelihood of bribery and then establishing an easy to understand company policy which explains what can and what cannot be done. Failure to put in place such a policy may lead to prosecution in the event that persons connected with the organisation are involved in any form of bribery.
There are some simple practical steps you can take to assess and mitigate risks. Most of these steps are obvious, and similar to those you will probably take anyway. Such as –
* Simple internet searches to find out about the levels of corruption or bribery in the particular country you propose to do business in.
* Consultation with UK diplomatic posts or UK Trade and Investment for advice.
* Consultation with business representative bodies here and in the relevant country for up to date local knowledge on possible bribery issues.
Bill Jones is the Managing Partner of leading Manchester law firm JMW Solicitors. Bill is an expert in combating money laundering.“
Court clerk first to be prosecuted under Bribery Act
The Law Society Gazette reports: “A London magistrates’ court employee has become the first person to be prosecuted under the new Bribery Act, the Crown Prosecution Service said today. Munir Yakub Patel, an administrative clerk at Redbridge Magistrates’ Court in Ilford, London, faces a charge under Section 2 of the 2010 Act for requesting and receiving a bribe intending to improperly perform his functions.
It is alleged that Patel promised an individual summonsed for a motoring offence that he could influence the outcome of the criminal proceedings in exchange for £500, on 1 August 2011…..”