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UK Bribery Act

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During 2011 a new UK criminal law will come into force which, because aspects of it have global effect, will apply to every organization that has a presence in UK. The new law is the UK Bribery Act (the Act). Bribery includes facilitation payments.

The Act introduces a new corporate criminal offence whereby failure to prevent bribery will result in severe penalties, namely
  • Up to 10 years imprisonment;
  • Unlimited fines.

The Act has extra-territorial effect and it applies to all organizations which have a business or part of a business, in any part of the United Kingdom”, regardless of:
  • where they are headquartered;
  • where the corruption took place: it can be anywhere in the world;
  • whether it involved or had any connection with the UK office or the UK office had any knowledge of it;
  • whether the organization was involved directly or through an agent;
  • whether the bribery has been the subject of a prosecution elsewhere.
Statutory Defence

The only defence available to an organization charged under the Act is if it can prove that it had adequate processes in place designed to prevent bribery by the organization and its associates. Companies without “adequate programs in place” will be liable.

What you should do now

You have two choices.
  • close the UK operation; or
  • retain the UK operation but ensure the entire organization complies with the Act by adopting a global anti-corruption programme that meets the expectations of the Act.
Majlis can provide you with a cost-effective solution to achieving this.

For more information please contact the Corporate Governance Department of Majlis Partners