Bribery Act 2010 – Implementation date announced  

The Bribery Act 2010 will come into force on 1 July 2011.  

The Ministry of Justice has published its guidance on the procedures businesses can put in place to protect themselves against liability for bribery by those associated with them. Having these procedures will be a defence to the new criminal offence created by the Act, namely of failing to prevent bribery by those associated with the organisation.  

A short form guide to the Act, tailored to small businesses, has also been published.

Guidance – key points

click hereFor more information The Guidance has been re-formatted from the earlier consultation draft to make it clearer and more useful. It relies on principles rather than concrete rules for preventing bribery. In particular, the Guidance:

  • Emphasises that anti-bribery policies and procedures should be proportionate to the bribery risks faced by an organisation and to its size and that a common sense approach should be taken;  
  • Provides further analysis of those who would be considered to be associated with a business which will be particularly helpful for parties in joint ventures and in assessing the level of due diligence required on an organisation’s supply chain;
  • Acknowledges that reasonable and proportionate corporate hospitality undertaken in good faith is not intended to be caught by the Act;  
  • Provides greater detail around the steps businesses can take to implement the Guidance with worked examples.  

What should you do now?

If you have not already begun to prepare for the Act, you now only have three months in which to do so. Start by assessing the bribery risks faced by your business to shape the policies and procedures you need. We can provide you with more detailed guidance and support as the Act moves closer to its implementation date.