Bribery Act & Proceeds of Crime - Written by on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 23:49 - 0 Comments

UK government denies intends to water down Bribery Act. We say. Money. Money. Money.

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The UK government Department of Business Innovation and Skills recently offered the following response to media reports that the UK government intends to water down the Bribery Act.

The UK is serious about its anti-corruption responsibilities and there is no question that the UK wishes to diminish its role as a world leader in this area; at the same time the Government is also clear that the Bribery Act and its associated guidance should not impose unnecessary costs or burdensome procedures on legitimate business;  Our emphasis [Ed: we are reminded to publish more extracts from “A Compliance and Ethics Program on a Dollar a Day” by Joe Murphy...]

·        The implementation of the Bribery Act and its impact on business, particularly small businesses, was raised during the Business Services Red Tape Challenge;

·        As a result of the Red Tape Challenge and as part of the Governments continuing implementation of the Act MoJ and BIS are working with small businesses to gather further information to ensure small businesses fully understand how the Act and the MoJ guidance relates to their business; [Ed: if you've been contacted by the MoJ and/or BIS then let us know - we haven't heard anything]

·        There is no intention to relax the application of the Bribery Act, which will be used to prosecute the giving and taking of bribes at home and abroad.”

Speaking in the House of Commons last week the Attorney General Dominic Grieve QC MP answered this question from Emily Thornberry MP:

“Does [the Attorney General] agree with some of his colleagues that instead of being built on, the Bribery Act should be watered down?”

The Attorney General answered:

“…there is no question, as far as I am concerned, of the Bribery Act being watered down. It is true that the interpretation of the Act has at times given rise to difficulties, including unnecessary ones for businesses in understanding what it requires of them, so an educational process may be required.”

Opinion

Against a backdrop of zero corporate enforcement so far some might argue that the burning issue of the day is not so much education, education, education but instead:

Money. Money. Money. For law enforcement.

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