Ministry Of Justice - Bribery Act

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has launched an 8 week consultation on the ‘adequate procedures’ guidance under the Bribery Act 2010 (the "Act"), which is due to be published by the Government in final form in early 2011. The Act, which is due to be implemented in April 2011, contains a new offence which can be committed by a UK body corporate or partnership, or any entity which carries on business or ‘part of a business’ in the UK, where a person performing services on its behalf, bribes a person, anywhere in the world. The only defence to that offence is where the corporate has in place ‘adequate procedures’ designed to prevent bribery occurring on its behalf. Under section 9 of the Act, the Government is to publish guidance on "adequate procedures", the objective of which is to support businesses to determine the sorts of bribery prevention measures they may consider putting in place. To this end, the draft guidance sets out ‘Six Principles for Bribery Prevention’, together with commentary on each. In summary: 1. Top level commitment - the theme is making the message clear, unambiguous and regularly made to all staff and business partners. 2. Risk Assessment - this is about knowing and keeping up to date with bribery risks you face in your sector and market. 3. Due diligence - this is about knowing who you do business with; knowing why and to whom you are releasing funds and seeking reciprocal anti-bribery agreements. 4. Clear, Practical and Accessible Policies and Procedures - this concerns applying them to everyone you employ and business partners under your effective control and covering all relevant risks. 5. Effective implementation - this is about going beyond 'paper compliance' to embedding anti-bribery in your organisation's internal controls, recruitment and remuneration policies, operations, communications and training on practical business issues. 6. Monitoring and review - this relates to auditing and financial controls that are sensitive to bribery and are transparent, considering how regularly you need to review your policies and procedures and whether external verification would help.

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