All you need to know about self reporting, Concerned about possible bribery? - Written by Barry & Richard on Monday, July 4, 2011 0:05 - 1 Comment
Scotland, the Bribery Act & self report outcomes in the first year
One small fact missed by many on Friday with the entry into force of the Bribery Act is that Scotland has a different legal system.
North of the border the Bribery Act will not be policed, investigated and prosecuted by the SFO.
In Scotland it will be the job of the police to investigate and the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal (COPFS) to prosecute, a split system.
On Friday the Crown Office piped in the entry into force of the Bribery Act slightly differently to the rest of the UK.
12 month window of leniency?
The Crown Office announced a 12 month window in which to self report violations of the anti-corruption laws with, in the words of the guidance, “a view to consideration being given by the Crown to refraining from prosecuting the business and referring the case to the Civil Recovery Unit (“CRU”) for civil settlement”.
The move is interesting.
We noted on Friday in our predictions for the next twelve months that “On July 1st and for a short period of time afterward companies will be in the position where they really do start with a clean slate. We believe that the SFO keen to live up to its promises to industry and government is likely, if engaged in the right way, to be more well disposed to a corporate with a historical problem for a short time after July 1st than in several years time.”
The Crown Office announcement which was made after consultation with the SFO is an indication of what we have anticipated for some time. The UK authorities are hopeful that businesses will Self Report violations under the Bribery Act.
The question is: will organisations grasp the thorny issue of Self Reporting in practice or bet that chances of discovery are low?