Bribery Act – compliance is an advantage, not only a necessity

The Bribery Act 2010 was introduced as there was a need to update and enhance the law on bribery to address the issue of bribery on a much broader basis than previously. The Bribery Act is among the strictest in the world on bribery and places the UK in a leading role on eliminating corruption.

Various forms of bribery are outlined in the Bribery Act, including offering or receiving bribes as well as failure to prevent bribes being made on behalf of organizations. Organizations must therefore ensure that they have adequate anti-bribery policies and systems. These policies should include a plan to reduce and control risks of bribery, outline rules about accepting gifts or donations, and provide guidance on how the organization wishes to conduct business. The procedures in place should correspond to the risks faced by the individual organization. Non-compliance can result in penalties such as fines or even custodial sentences. This is a new dimension to anti-bribery legislation which is now also being emulated in other laws, in various forms, such as the recent law in France, for example.

The Bribery Act is part of UK legislation, but, like the FCPA, has scope extending across the world for anyone wanting to have operations in the UK.

From a business perspective, complying with the UK Bribery Act provides organizations with a business advantage. Apart from the resilience that is integrated as a result of implementing “adequate procedures”, business partners these days have expectations regarding compliance, which go far beyond just signing a supplier code of conduct.

As companies develop and implement compliance frameworks, they find it difficult to keep track of developments and even more tricky to monitor the operating effectiveness of such frameworks. Furthermore, what is required to control the business will be different from year to year as both the external world and internal businesses change and adapt.

Establishing and documenting compliance can therefore be both complex and difficult. Impero is a Danish software company that offers an intuitive cloud-based compliance solution through internal controls. Impero’s solution has a unique and light-weight approach that helps companies achieve compliance in various areas including SOX compliance and ISO 27001. Want to know how Impero can help you comply with the Bribery Act? Contact Kristian Bollerup at kb@impero.dk Want to know more about anti-bribery compliance frameworks? Contact Judith Canning at jc@SDGlead.com.

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