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The Bribery Act – Have you Reviewed your Procedures?Posted on by Angela Rhodes
Although The Bribery Act came into force in 2010, many small businesses are unaware of the implications of falling foul of this far-reaching piece of legislation. Significant changes were introduced which will affect every business no matter what their size. So what does the Act cover?
- The crime of bribery is now extended to cover all private sector transactions whereas previously it was confined to pubic officials and agents.
- A new strict liability has been created for failing to prevent bribery.
- Its scope reaches countries outside the UK and so caution will need to be taken if you operate in overseas markets.
- Criminal penalties can be awarded against individuals and organisations.
- Offering, promising or giving a bribe
- Requesting, agreeing to receive or accepting a bribe
- Bribing a foreign official to obtain or retain business
- Failure of an organisation to prevent bribery by those acting on its behalf
- Proportionality – depends on the size of your business, the markets in which you work and the type of risks that you face.
- Top Level Commitment – ensure that everyone from the business owner downwards, together with people you carry out business with, understand the company will not tolerate bribery of any form.
- Risk Assessment – think about potential risks. You may find this Government-sponsored website helpful: www.business-anti-corruption.com.
- Due Diligence – Check out the people you are dealing with and make sure they are trustworthy.
- Communication – Make sure that all staff are aware of your policies and procedures. We suggest training all staff with a written declaration from each stating they have been made aware of the requirements of the Act and the implications of committing an offence under the Act.
- Monitoring and Reviewing – Regularly monitor and review your procedures as things change within your business.
- If you have no anti-corruption policies and procedures in place then consider implementing them as soon as possible
- If you do have anti-corruption policies and procedures in place, then review them and make sure they are up to date and reflect the current needs of the business
- Carry out a risk-assessment to identify potential risks
- Ensure that everyone associated with the Company is aware of the policies and procedures
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