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Bribery and Corruption

Bribery and Corruption has long been perceived as a major obstacle for socio-economic development; distorting national and international economic relations.

Corruption includes any illegitimate use of office, and may include a range of different types of crime. Bribery is limited to the giving or acceptance of payment of other illegitimate advantages. To cover these and other matters, we have prepared a report on Economic and Business Crime in an International Context (PDF 985kb/24 pages), a review of international law and practice in relation to crimes committed by or on behalf of business. This is part of our Market Foundations initiative.

The scale of the problem of bribery and corruption is significant at both a corporate and governmental level. It creates a major distortion of trade as well as undermining the democratic development of emerging markets.

In 2008, as a response to the Woolf Report on BAE Systems, ICAEW brought together a summary of its actions on the issue of Ethical Behaviour in Business.

UK Bribery Law

The Bribery Act 2010 introduced new criminal offences of:

  • bribing another person, or being bribed
  • bribing a foreign public official
  • commercial organisations failing to prevent bribes being paid on their behalf
  • senior officials of bodies corporate or partnerships who consent or connive at the offences

There will be a defence of “adequate procedures” to prevent bribery for corporate entities and their senior officials. The Ministry of Justice has published the following guidance:

  • The Bribery Act 2010. Quick Start Guide
  • The Bribery Act 2010. Guidance about procedures which relevant commercial organisations can put in place to prevent persons associated with them from bribing (section 9 of the Bribery Act 2010). Available from www.justice.gov.uk/legislation/bribery

 

The Bribery Act 2010 came fully into force on 1 July 2011. As a result the following legislation has been repealed in full:

  • Public Bodies Corrupt Practices Act 1889
  • Prevention of Corruption Act 1906
  • Prevention of Corruption Act 1916

Furthermore Sections 108 to 110 inclusive of the Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001 have been repealed and the Common Law offence of 'bribery' has been abolished (Section 17 (1), Bribery Act 2010).

International Bribery Law and Conventions

Bribery and Corruption links

A comprehensive collection of bulletins, publications and links on bribery, corruption, forensic accounting, fraud, money laundering and transparency from the Library & Information Service.