You may or may not be aware that The Bribery Act 2010 (the “Act”) affects your business and did so from 1st July 2012The Bribery Act 2010 Legal Advice Barrister Adequate Procedures. The penalty, an unlimited fine (section 11), can have a significant impact on your business. Absolute barrister can help, whatever the size of your organisation, with experts who actually prosecute and defend similar cases to advise you on putting in place appropriate procedures.
So what is the Act all about?
If a person associated with a company bribes another person intending to obtain or retain either business, or obtain or retain an advantage in the conduct of business for that company, the company is guilty of an offence under section 7. A person is associated if they perform services for the company but the capacity in which they do so does not matter (section 8, which also gives some examples.)
There is, however, an important safeguard given under the Act. It is a defence for the company to prove that it had in place adequate procedures designed to prevent those associated persons from undertaking such conduct. The question, then, is this: what procedures have to be in place so that they are 'adequate'? Or put another way, how can companies protect themselves?
There is guidance, but it is just that. Under section 9 of tthe Secretary of State must publish guidance. It is forty pages long and sets out six guiding principles:
(i) Proportional Procedures;
(ii) Top-Level Commitment;
(iii) Risk Assessment;
(iv) Due Diligence;
(v) Communication (including training);
(vi) Monitoring and Review.
The principles set out serve as guidance only, and not a magic formula to guarantee your company is protected. The factors that influence what you need to have in place will include the size of your organisation, the nature of its business and the method by which it does business. Put bluntly, there isn’t a prescription as to what the adequate procedures for your business are. You must decide. You will not even know whether the procedures you adopt are adequate or not, as they will not be tested unless the need arises for them to be relied upon as a defence in court. With so much at stake, it might be a good idea to get some sound advice. Who better to get you the advice you need than a barrister who has appeared in court many a time?
We can help you to get the advice you need from an expert barrister who regularly advises upon, defends and tests criminal offences in court. We can assist in auditing and put in place procedures suitable to your size of business, whatever its size and you can rest assured that you get the end game view from the very beginning.
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