In 2018 the House of Lords announced it would set up an ad hoc Select Committee to conduct a post-legislative review of the Bribery Act 2010. Greenberg Traurig Shareholder Anne-Marie Ottaway was appointed Specialist Advisor to the Committee, which on 14 March 2019 published the report of its findings. The review confirms that the Bribery Act 2010 is “an exemplary piece of legislation” which sets the global benchmark for anti-bribery and anti-corruption legislation.
The Bribery Act was passed, with much fanfare, in 2010 and came into force on 1 July 2011. The Act simplified previous anti-corruption legislation dating back to 1889 and 1906 and introduced for the first time a specific corporate offence of failure to prevent bribery.
Under the Act, the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) was required to publish guidance for businesses on the adequate procedures they would need to implement to have a defence to the failure to prevent offence. The Act applies to UK companies and foreign companies conducting business or part of a business in the UK. It pertains to conduct in both domestic and foreign jurisdictions and applies to bribery in both the public and private sectors.
Following the Act’s introduction, there was much concern about the impact it would have on the ability of UK businesses to conduct business abroad; this concern was a key focus of the Committee’s review, which covered the following:
- Length of investigations
- Police resources and training
- Lack of cooperation and coordination
- Revisions to the MOJ Guidance
- Facilitation payments
- The importance of a risk assessment
- Corporate criminal liability
- The adequate v reasonable debate
- Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs)
- DPAs not a substitute for prosecuting culpable individuals
Click here for the full GT Alert on the Select Committee’s findings.