The Bribery Act 2010

The Bribery Act 2010 (the `Act`) comes into force on 1 July 2011. The Act consolidates and expands the range of bribery offences for which organisations and individuals can be prosecuted. 

The offences introduced by the Act are:

1. Giving bribes (to promise, offer or give a bribe whether directly or through a third party). 

2. Receiving bribes (to request, receive or agree to receive a bribe). 

3. Bribery of a foreign public official (the definition of a foreign public official covers both foreign government officials and individuals working for international organisations). 

4. Failure of commercial organisations to prevent bribery (a commercial organisation may be guilty of an offence if someone acting on its behalf commits an active offence or a public offence). 

There is a defence open to commercial organisations facing prosecution for the fourth offence if they can show that they have in place "adequate procedures". The Ministry of Justice has issued guidance on the concept of adequate procedures comprising six key principles: proportionality; top level commitment; risk assessments; due diligence; communication; monitoring and review.

Should you require further information on the implications of the Bribery Act or in updating your employment policies or procedures please contact either Donna Ingleby, Ed Jenneson or Lottie Pigg in the Employment Team on 01482 323239 or 01904 625790.

Posted on: 28/06/2011

This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.

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