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Glowing report on Bribery Act 2010 14/03/2019 The House of Lords Select Committee report on the Bribery Act 2010 has concluded that the Act is ‘exemplary’

Glowing report on Bribery Act 2010

The House of Lords Select Committee report on the Bribery Act 2010 has concluded that the Act is ‘exemplary’. In its post-legislative scrutiny report, following 23 oral evidence sessions and 61 written submissions, the Committee agreed with the view of the witnesses and other contributors that the Act is working well, and is an example to other countries, especially developing countries.

"The Bribery Act 2010 is a model piece of legislation. Not a single witness had any major criticisms of the Act. It effectively defines offences in a clear and concise manner, and acts as a deterrent,” said The Chairman of the Committee, Lord Saville of Newdigate. "While we make recommendations for a number of improvements to the Act, and hope that the Government takes these on board, the legislation is working well and the Committee was greatly encouraged by the evidence received."

The recommendations include:

  • A lack of awareness of and training on the Bribery Act may be a contributing factor in the lack of bribery prosecutions. The City of London Police's Economic Crime Academy should expand its anti-bribery training programme, and every police force should commit to ensuring it has at least one specialist.
  • The Government must ensure that UK companies are provided with support on corruption issues in the countries to which they export, by properly trained and instructed officials. Even the smaller UK embassies must have at least one official who is an expert in local customs and cultures, or who can rapidly contact officials of foreign government departments on behalf of companies facing problems in this field.
  • The Ministry of Justice should consider adding clearer examples to the Guidance of when corporate hospitality is legitimate and when it is not.

The inquiry also looked at Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs), which although not derived from the Bribery Act, allow cases to be settled without the companies involved being convicted of offences.

The Committee concluded that:

  • Despite initial concerns, DPAs are not, and have not been seen to be "an easy way out".
  • Discounts applied to financial penalties are appropriate to encourage companies to self-report but not so large as to deprive the penalty of its effectiveness.
  • DPAs are not, and cannot be, a substitute for the prosecution of any individuals involved in corrupt conduct.

Further details can be found here.

The report can be found here.

 

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