UK Bribery Act

UK Bribery Act

In 2010, United Kingdom passed a law to prohibit the practice of bribery. Bribery is committed when a person, individual or group, either offers, promises or gives another person, or requests, agree to receive or accept, a financial or other advantage, with the intention of procuring or rewarding the improper performance of a “relevant function.” Hence, UKBA recognizes both active bribery (giving, promising, or offering a bribe) and passive bribery (requesting, agreeing to receive, or accepting a bribe)

Main offences

UKBA includes four main offences:

  • A general offence of bribing
  • A general offence of being bribed
  • An offence of bribing a foreign official
  • Introduce a corporate offence of failing to prevent bribery by persons associated with relevant commercial organization (dubbed as “a failure to prevent”)

The US’s FCPA recognizes that the giver of the bribe is the main offender of bribery. UKBA, however, as stated above, sees the receiver of the bribe as one of the offenders in the case of bribery. Consequently, both the giver and receiver may receive legal consequences of bribery under UKBA regime.

Adequate procedures

Due to the enactment of “failure to prevent,” an organization could be implicated with the practice of bribery conducted by their personnel, unless the organization can show that they have “adequate procedures” to prevent briberies. In 2011, UK Ministry of Justice Guidance set six principles as a guideline for commercial organizations. Those six principles are:

  • Proportionate procedure
  • Top-level commitment
  • Risk assessment
  • Due diligence (for business partners, agents and third parties)
  • Communication (of anti-bribery policies and procedures)
  • Monitoring and Review

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