UK Bribery Act – Strong enforcement “vital”

UK Bribery Act – Strong enforcement “vital”

As the 2010 Bribery Act comes into force on the 1st July, anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International UK warns that the enforcement of the new Act could be undermined by a lack of resources.

The Bribery Act, passed in April 2010 with cross-party support, gives prosecutors a better legal framework to prosecute bribery. It will also help to level the playing field for the vast majority of UK companies that want to conduct their business in a responsible manner. However, the budget of the Serious Fraud Office is being cut by 26 % from £55 million to £39 million, with a further cut of 25 % expected.

Transparency International UK, a leading anti-corruption organisation which has been campaigning for the modernisation of anti-bribery legislation for the past 10 years, has published the most extensive guidance2 for companies seeking to prevent bribery. Today, it has announced two new projects to assist companies in complying with the Bribery Act:

Anti-bribery training materials for companies, developed with FTI and Inmarkets
Guidance for investors on anti-bribery due diligence, developed with Kroll and Skadden
Chandrashekhar Krishnan, Executive Director of Transparency International UK said “The Act is a major step forward by the UK in meeting its international obligations to fight bribery and corruption, which does so much damage, particularly within developing nations and to international business.

“However, there is now a vital need for adequate resources for strong and effective enforcement of the act. The UK needs to demonstrate the political will to make sure that it does not export corruption. We hope that the Anti-Corruption Champion, Kenneth Clarke, will provide strong leadership on both the Act’s implementation and, more generally, corruption in the UK.”

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