April 2010 (#110)

In this update:

  • New UK Bribery Act- sweeping reforms to UK laws

New UK Bribery Act- sweeping reforms to UK laws

On 9 April 2010 the UK parliament passed the long-awaited Bribery Act. The Act prohibits foreign bribery and also applies to foreign companies that carry on any part of their business in the UK. The Act introduces an offence for a company to fail to prevent bribery by any employee or agent acting anywhere in the world. Companies will have a defence if they can prove that they have implemented ?adequate procedures?. The UK government is expected to issue guidance as to what will constitute adequate procedures shortly. The Act also introduces a broad offence of bribery of a foreign public official which, among other things, removes the previous requirement that the prosecution prove that the foreign official acted ?corruptly?. The Act represents a major development in global efforts to restrict the supply side of corruption and further underlines the need for Australian companies (especially those with operations in the UK) to implement policies and procedures to prevent employees and agents from engaging in corrupt conduct. Transparency International UK has congratulated the UK Government on for fulfilling its commitment to modernise bribery law. Further comment is available on the TI website.