Bribery Bill pushed through parliament

The UK Bribery Bill was die to be passed yesterday, bringing the country into
compliance with OECD anti-corruption guidance.

The UK parliament is set to pass the bribery bill after the House of Commons
yesterday approved the anti-corruption legislation, paving the way for unlimited
fines for UK companies found guilty of failure to prevent bribery.

The bill was drafted last year to finally bring the UK in line with long-term
lobbying from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and
punitive US legislation such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, writes

Gavin Cunningham, head of corruption investigation at BDO Forensic,said: ”
There have been no amendments of a substantive nature and the bill has always
had all-party support.”

“Because it was introduced in the House of Lords it has to go back to the
Lords for them to review it and vote on the amendments before finally passing

The drive for anti-corruption legislation for firms was underlined by the
high-profile bribery allegations against arms firm BAE as part of a long-running
investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) over its dealings with the Saudi
royal family.

“The SFO is cracking down on overseas bribery and has made it clear that just
having a policy will not be a sufficient defence,” said Tony Lewis, bribery and
corruption partner at legal firm Field Fisher Waterhouse.

“Companies will need to make sure that policies are tailored and robustly
implemented. Staff must be trained and compliance will need to be monitored. The
SFO will be looking for a clear statement of an anti-corruption culture, fully
and visibly supported at the highest levels.”

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