Guidance on Bribery Act Published

Posted: 1st April 2011

The Government has now published final guidance for businesses on complying with the Bribery Act 2010. The implementation of the Act, originally scheduled for April this year, was delayed to allow time for the guidance to be finalised. The Act will now come into force on 1 July 2011.
Section 7 of the Act makes it an offence for a commercial organisation to fail to prevent bribery. However, a business can provide a defence by showing that it had in place adequate procedures to prevent bribery from taking place and the guidance details the approach businesses should take when implementing such procedures. The overriding point is that the procedures should be proportionate in view of the likelihood of bribery occurring, which will depend on the size of the business and the countries and markets in which it operates. Although the principles remain similar to those in the draft guidance, published in September 2010, the advice in the final version is more detailed.
The guidance also includes case studies to illustrate what approach businesses might take to certain situations. Again, this section of the guidance has been expanded considerably since the draft versions were published.
The final guidance can be found here. See also the ‘quick start guide’ to the Act.