Clare Kennedy and Alison Ritchie, PwC Forensic Services, gave presentations on the Bribery Act 2010, including those which came into force on 1 July 2011, and and discussed with delegates the Act's implications for public authorities.
The purpose of the Act is to reform the criminal law of bribery to provide for a new consolidated scheme of bribery offences to cover bribery both in the United Kingdom (UK) and abroad.
The Act replaces offences at common law and those covered by the Prevention of Corruption Acts 1889 to 1916 with two general offences.
The Bribery Act represents a significant change to UK law and seeks to enhance the UK's anti-bribery legislation, which was seen as antiquated and fragmented. The Act replaces previous offences with general, active and passive bribery offences. In August 2011 a court clerk became the first person convicted under the Act for taking a bribe while working at an east London court. The Bribery Act enables prosecutors to focus on the bribery element rather than general misconduct behaviour.
The Act also introduces a specific 'corporate' offence of failing to prevent bribery (which is applicable to public sector organisations as well companies). Recent indications are that corporate and individual failures to take action to prevent bribery will meet a tough response.
Questions that you need to answer about your own organisation's readiness are:
Key Points Bulletin: A bulletin summarising key points to come out of the briefing can be found here.