09 April 2010
Bribery Bill passed by House of Commons
The House of Commons has passed the Bribery Bill, which is intended to bring Britain in line with international attempts to reduce corruption involved in winning business abroad.
It was one of a number of measures the government was keen to get through before the general election.
Under the terms of the new legislation, there will be an offence of corporate failure to prevent bribery and firms will have to show they have adequate processes in place to stop such activity, the Telegraph reports.
Those which fail to will face prosecution, along with the individuals responsible for the bribe.
Responding to the development, Jeremy Summers, a partner in the business crime and regulation department at Russell Jones & Walker, said: "The Act's provisions, including the corporate offence of failing to prevent corruption, will be in force by the end of the year.
"Companies must now urgently ensure that their anti-corruption compliance systems are fit for purpose or face the real possibility of fines, confiscation and debarment with the attendant reputational damage that prosecution will bring in any event."