Delays to implementation
The Government has confirmed that the proposed implementation of the Bribery Act in April will be now be delayed, owing to a delay in the Ministry of Justice providing guidance on how to interpret the rules.
The Bribery Act 2010, described by the Serious Fraud Office as “the toughest bribery legislation in the world” was passed in April 2010 and was due to come into force in April 2011, introducing far-reaching changes to UK anti-corruption laws that will affect all businesses. For further details of what the Act may mean for businesses, please click here.
It is anticipated that the Ministry of Justice guidance will make some concessions on issues of concern to businesses, such as providing that the new rules will not catch ‘reasonable’ hospitality and giving guidance as to what is reasonable and enabling joint venture partners to avoid strict liability for the actions of their partners where they can show they have not benefited from a bribe.
Given that, once the guidance has been published there will be a minimum of three months before the Act is brought into force, the Government has indicated that it may now not come into force until August 2011.
We nevertheless recommend that you review your procedures now to prevent your business being caught unawares by the new rules. If you are in any doubt as to how the Bribery Act will affect your business, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .