Monday, April 4, 2011
The United Kingdom's new Bribery Act was meant to enter into effect on April 10, 2011. The effective date was pushed back, however, pending publication of Guidance Documents from the United Kingdom Ministry of Justice. The guidance documents were finally released last Thursday.
Among other things, the Bribery Act 2010 creates a new offense (under section 7) which can be committed by commercial organisations that fail to prevent persons associated with them (such as employees, agents, other third parties, and also subsidiaries) from bribing another person on their behalf. An organization that can prove it has adequate procedures in place to prevent persons associated with it from bribing may be able to defend a charge of violating section 7.
The guidance published last week was intended to help commercial organizations of all sizes and sectors understand what sorts of procedures they can put in place to prevent bribery, as mentioned in section 7.
and it has now been announced that the UK Bribery Act will now enter into effect on July 1, 2011.
Click here for the text of the UK Bribery Act and other information about the Act.
The new Act presents many law firms with the opportunities to educate clients about the new act and how to avoid violating it. Mayer Brown, for example, is conducting an informative telephone conference today on "The UK Bribery Act Guidance: Implications for Anti-Corruption Compliance." Among the tips shared is one from Kristy Balsanek, who recommends that corporations review contracts as to supervision of subagents and that any anti-corruption provisions in a contract refer not only to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practice Act (FCPA) but also to the new UK Bribery Act. She also recommends reviewing joint venture agreements.