The Bribery Act

This Act deals only with bribery – not other forms of white collar crime. There has previously been legislation in place to prevent bribery but this Act was brought in as if to convince the rest of the world that the UK was a land of virtue. In some way the Government at the time must have thought that other countries were more likely to trade with a country with a strong law against bribery.

Your business may be liable for failing to prevent a person from bribing on your behalf but only if that person performs services for you in business. It is very unlikely therefore that you will be liable for the actions of someone who simply supplies goods to you. There is a full defence if you can show you had adequate procedures in place to prevent bribery. But you do not need to put bribery prevention procedures in place if there is no risk of bribery on your behalf.

Hospitality is not prohibited by the Act but on a cursory reading of the Act you might be excused for believing that assertion needs to be taken very carefully and with some disbelieve. The truth is that low level hospitality is not going to be prosecuted (although it is possible to imagine some scenarios where quite small payments could be the subject of investigation) as the prosecutors know it will be difficult to gain convictions for something that is not extravagant and is the norm for the industry.

Bear in mind that facilitation payments are bribes under the Act just as they were under the old law.

You could easily conclude that this is an area you would prefer to keep clear of and to do that the steps you need to take are likely to be simple if the correct advice is taken and acted upon.

Clarke Kiernan, Bribery solicitors,

2 – 4 Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent. TN9 1DU

Phone: 01732360999, Fax : 01732353835, info@clarkekiernan.comMap