UK man guilty of bribing Nigerian officials
Lobby group slams ministers' decision to delay bribery law
Few concerns over bribery law
An incentive to take action
20 January 2011 | Angeline Albert
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) wants firms to blow the whistle on suppliers and other companies who
break the UK’s new bribery law.
Speaking this week to corporate security chiefs at the International Security Management Association
(ISMA), Vivian Robinson QC, general
counsel at the SFO, said firms must “adopt and implement a policy of
anti-bribery due diligence and monitoring in respect of any party with whom
they have a business relationship”.
Robinson said increased sharing of information
between regulating authorities, greater cross-border co-operation and “information
from whistleblowers” would help the SFO uncover “cases of significant corporate
The Bribery Act,
which is set to make it easier for senior managers and
companies to be prosecuted if their employees accept bribes, comes into force
The act introduces a corporate
offence of failure to prevent bribery by persons working on behalf of a
business. A business can avoid conviction if it can show that it has adequate
procedures in place to prevent bribery.
also recommended that a clear policy on giving and receiving gifts, hospitality
and other expenses, be communicated to company employees, business partners,
contractors and suppliers.
The new law will make it
a criminal offence to give, promise or offer a bribe and to request, agree to,
receive or accept a bribe, either at home or abroad, including bribery of a
foreign public official. The act also increases the maximum penalty for bribery
from seven to 10 years’ imprisonment, with an unlimited fine.