Bribery & Compliance Advice
The Bribery Act 2010 has wide ranging and serious implications for all business, large or small.
Failure to take appropriate steps to evidence a business has appropriate policies and procedures to prevent bribery may have disastrous consequences, especially in an environment where governments worldwide are in the mood to regulate and enforce.
Due to our years of practical experience Blackhawk can assist your organisation with cost effective training in Bribery Act Training compliance, preparing policies and procedures, due diligence and ongoing monitoring.
What you need to know
There are 4 key offences in the Act, which relate to :-
Up to 12 months or a fine on summary conviction. Up to 10 years imprisonment on indictment and unlimited corporate fines which results in potential criminal responsibility for bribery by business partners worldwide if your business was intended to benefit or benefits, directly or indirectly. It also appears likely that any business or individual convicted will be prohibited from succeeding in applying for a public sector contract.
Wide ranging implications
All businesses, however large or small will be responsible for adequately vetting suppliers, agent or contractor to be satisfied that such third parties also comply with the Act, irrespective of location. As a result, businesses are advised to run due diligence tests on trading partners.
Mitigating the risk
Thus far the Ministry has set down six Principles for Bribery Prevention as good international practices but it should be remembered when considering bribery and bribery act training that every business will need to tailor its policies and procedures so that they are proportionate to the nature, scale and complexity of its activities. Clearly there are a huge variety of circumstances; small and medium sized organizations will face different challenges compared to large multi-national enterprises, particularly where policies and training.
The key principles are :-
- The need for risk assessment to determine whether a business has the in-house expertise to deal with obligations in the Bribery Act or whether external professional consultants should be employed to do so.
- Assessment of internal risks which could include deficiencies in employee knowledge of a company’s business profile and understanding of associated bribery and corruption risks and the company’s compensation structure or lack of clarity in the policy on gifts, entertaining and travel expenses.
- Country specific risks
- Transaction specific risk
- Partnership risks – this risk could include those involving foreign business partners located in higher-risk jurisdictions, associations with prominent public office holders, insufficient knowledge or transparency of third party processes and controls.
- A business will need to demonstrate “top level commitment” to preventing bribery by creating a culture where bribery is never acceptable, ensuring the organisation has a policy on bribery which is clearly communicated to all levels of management, the workforce and any relevant external parties.
- Adopting a zero tolerance policy towards bribery and corruption and publicly announcing the consequences of engaging in such prohibited behaviour for employees and management.
- Extending this proscription to all business partners through anti-bribery and corruption terms and conditions in contracts with business partners and to avoid doing business with others who do not commit to doing business without bribery. This requirement would mandate that a top-level statement may be made public and communicated to subsidiaries and business partners.
Our Bribery Act training and advice services
We can advise and assist with an appropriate anti-bribery policy for your business, appropriate bribery act training for staff, ongoing monitoring and investigation of any suspected bribery or corruption. Our business background check service may also assist and our overall experience in investigating business issues and wrongdoing makes us ideally placed to spot potential problems in your business which may not be found by other providers.
Want to know more about Compliance Advice?
For more information about how we can help with cost effective guidance or services related to the Bribery Act and anti-corruption, please get in touch.