The Bribery Act 2010

The Bribery Act 2010

The legislation has been passed…

The consultation period has ended…

The guidance has been published.

Now, with effect from 1st July 2011 any company trading in the U.K. can be prosecuted if, in furtherance of the company business, one or more of its employees or representative’s are found guilty of bribing someone to do or not to do something contrary to their role.

The company will be able to claim a defence to such a charge if and only if it can prove it has put adequate compliance measures in place to prevent that occurrence.

Much will turn on the word “adequate” but the following is a quote from the legislative guidance,

“Accordingly, the detail of how organisations might apply these principles, taken as a whole, will vary, but the outcome should always be robust and effective anti-bribery procedures”.

The UK government has clearly indicated that it expects the anti-bribery training to be proportionate to the risks faced by the company.  A very small business may rely heavily on simply telling staff, verbally, about their bribery policy.

However, for larger companies the Guidance Notes recommend extensive written communication, and training that is continuous and regularly monitored.  The ideal means of delivering such communication and training is e-learning – and this is recognised in the Guidance Notes.