THE INSTITUTE of Chartered Accountants in Scotland (ICAS) has urged the government to delay implementation of the Bribery Act by three months to give SMEs more time to prepare for the legislation.
The Bribery Act received Royal Assent last April and is expected to become operative in April 2011. It will abolish all existing UK anti-bribery laws and replace them with a suite of new offences.
As part of its “growth review”, the government is reviewing the Bribery Act, in an attempt to ease compliance burdens faced by UK business, ICAS said.
ICAS has previously published 14 recommendations to help make the new anti-bribery rules easier for businesses to understand.
James Barbour, director of technical policy at ICAS, said: “Given that the final guidance will not be published until later in January, a couple of months from this date until the Act goes live is not enough time for businesses to respond appropriately. A three-month delay to July would greatly assist organisations and help the business community and government work together more harmoniously.”
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