The Federal Government’s development of the National Anti-Corruption Plan is occurring at a time when Australia’s implementation and compliance with the United Nations Convention against Corruption, and the OECD’s Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions, have both been reviewed (reported in June and October 2012 respectively).
The report recently released by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Working Group on Australia’s implementation and enforcement of foreign bribery laws is highly critical of Australia’s efforts to date.
The UK Serious Fraud Office has issued new guidance which states that it will prosecute companies which make facilitation payments where there is a realistic prospect of conviction and prosecution is in the public interest.
As the UK Bribery Act will come into force in April 2011, corporate entities (including partnerships) which carry on part of their business in the UK need to ensure that by that date they have in place adequate procedures which may provide a defence to the strict liability offence of failure to prevent bribery.
The Bribery Act 2010 (UK) was passed by the UK Parliament on 8 April 2010 and is expected to progressively come into force from May.
Does your organisation do business in the UK or hope to do business with the UK in the future?
There has been further progress in the United Kingdom regarding the proposed anti-bribery legislation and the ongoing investigation into BAE Systems by the Serious Fraud Office.