UK firms crying out for more education on Bribery Act

Posted on 21 Jul 2011 by The Manufacturer

The Bribery Act, introduced in 2010, comes into force at the end of this month. Capita and Thomson Reuters are teaming up to provide online training on compliance with the act.

Thomson Reuters’ governance, risk & compliance division and outsourcing company Capita are answering calls from UK companies to educate them more fully on the consequences for their businesses. The Act is designed to both prevent and successfully prosecute bribery and corruption in any company with a UK presence, including those located overseas.

In a recent survey carried out by Thomson Reuters, less than one in ten said they were fully prepared for the change in the law and nearly 4 in 10 said they would be rushing to meet the deadline or were unlikely to meet it at all. 34% of firms had implemented new policies to take account of the change in the law and 25% were either still unsure of the practical aspect, or believed that their existing policies were adequate.

“The act, which came into force earlier this month, creates a new corporate offence of failing to prevent bribery, so it’s vital that a company has the right policies and procedures in place, particularly as its defence will rely on those same procedures if anything goes wrong,” said Madeleine Cordes, senior manager at Capita Company Secretarial Services.

“What constitutes adequate procedures is, of course, a matter for the courts to define over time but firms being able to demonstrate they have embedded robust policies and procedures, including communication to staff, together with training is key,” she explained.

Watch out for this month’s feature on Bribery in the monthly edition of TM

George Archer