The Law Society has recently published a guidance note on the Bribery Act 2010 and how its member firms should comply with the Act. This is a useful guide, but for the busy practitioner, here are RPC’s top tips:
- Prepare a Risk Assessment. Unless you clearly understand the bribery risks your business faces, there is no point in drafting a policy;
- Corporate hospitality and facilitation payments are red herrings. Let’s be clear: facilitation payments have always been and will remain illegal under the new Act. Corporate hospitality is still allowed – it just has to be appropriate and proportionate. Can I still take a client to Wimbledon? Of course you can - just don’t fly them there in a private jet;
- Audit and review your anti-bribery programme - your risk profile may change either way. Document and communicate any changes.
- Due diligence on employees and third party introducers and subsequent levels of control are important - more so those out of sight, but not out of mind;
- Tone from the top. The right message from senior management is far more likely to create the right compliance culture than any policy, procedure or compliance manual.
Personal and professional integrity are the key to demonstrating good anti-bribery and corruption controls.