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The Bribery Act 2010

Paul Dancey on 18/04/2011

Under the Bribery Act 2010, which comes into force on the 1st July 2011, it will be a criminal offence for commercial organizations to fail to prevent bribery. A commercial organization is an organization that "carries on a business".

Under the act an offence will have been committed if an employee or contractor bribes another person, intending to obtain or retain business for your business or to obtain or retain an advantage in the conduct of your business.

However, there is an important defence. If your business had adequate procedures in place designed to prevent people associated with it from engaging in such conduct, then you will not be guilty of any criminal offence.

Organizations that fall within the scope of this legislation should therefore review their business procedures, and carry out relevant risk assessments to determine whether they have adequate procedures in place to prevent bribery. In some cases it may also be appropriate to consider seeking professional advice on the procedures that should be put in place to prevent fraud.

Further information and guidance can be downloaded from the Ministry of Justice web site.

Source: Hugh James Solicitors - Employment Law Bulletin

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