7th February 2011

Delay to Bribery Act Implementation

Those with a compliance brief will be interested to hear that the Ministry of Justice has confirmed a delay in implementation of the Bribery Act.  The Act – which was one of those labeled “anti-growth” by outgoing CBI director general Sir Richard Lambert last week – was due to come into effect in April.  However, the Ministry of Justice has not yet issued the guidance for businesses that was slated for January, and the Act will not now come into force until 3 months after this has been issued.

As yet, there is no date fixed for the issue of guidance.  A draft of the guidance was issued for consultation in September last year, and my own feeling was that while it was a start, it was very general, and the examples it gave only related to overseas business.  If the result of the delay is to provide more focused guidance that is targeted at all types of organisation – large and small, regional, national and international, the delay will have been a good thing.  It will also give those organisations who have not given serious consideration to corruption issues more time to get their house in order.

The Bribery Act extends the scope of current anti-corruption laws, and will expose all organizations to the risk of prosecution if they do not have appropriate anti-corruption procedures in place.  We ran a seminar on this topic in October last year and will continue to keep clients and contacts up to date with progress.

Please contact me for further information or for help in assessing your organisation’s risk profile and formulating appropriate procedures.

Campbell Clark
Head of Corporate & Commercial

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