The UK has now published a self-assessment of its anti-bribery controls as part of a UN review intended to evaluate the UK’s compliance with its obligations as a signatory to the UN Convention against Corruption. Given that the Bribery Act 2010 has recently come into force, the Government unsurprisingly finds itself compliant with the Convention and has not requested any technical assistance with its implementation. It will be interesting to see whether its external reviewers share the same point of view.
The review concentrates on the UK’s compliance with two chapters of the Convention – Chapter III on Criminalisation and Law Enforcement and Chapter IV on International Cooperation – and will take place over the next 8-12 months. The final report will then be published in late Spring or Summer 2012.
The production of the Government’s self-assessment forms the first phase of the review. It provides information on every article that is under review, detailing how UK law meets the standards set in the Convention and how UK laws against corruption are implemented. The self-assessment then forms the basis for the work of the reviewing countries, Israel and Greece.
The reviewers will then visit the UK in early 2012 during the second phase of the review. It is uncertain how far Greece and Israel will prove willing to dissent from the Government’s self-assessment given their own record. On the one hand, Greece is currently mired in the worst debt crisis in the country’s recent history largely due to incorrect data produced by its own statistical office. On the other, Israel only succeeded to the Convention in 2009 and has had its own corruption scandals at the heart of government.