Overseas anti-corruption unit
"When corruption happens in developing countries, it is the very poorest people in our world who foot the bill. Corruption is a dead-weight which is holding countries and their people back. "The UK Government will not only work in countries to prevent public funds from being siphoned off or stolen - we will step up our efforts to combat corruption that uses our shores as a host."
International Development Secretary of State, Justine Greening
Background and introduction
In line with the spirit of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and with encouragement from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) the UK has produced a ‘Gold standard’ piece of legislation to tackle bribery at home and abroad.
Following public consultation in November 2010 and the publication of Her Majesty's Government’s ‘Adequate Procedures’ Guidance to business in 2011, the new Bribery Act 2010 came into force on 1st July, 2011.
It makes it a criminal offence to give, promise or offer a bribe and to request, agree to receive or accept a bribe either at home or abroad, with section 6 specifically relating to foreign public officials.
The act introduces a corporate offence of failure to prevent bribery by persons working on behalf of a business; with a potential defence reliant on the company showing ‘adequate procedures’ were in place.
Finally, the act also increases the maximum penalty for bribery from seven to ten years imprisonment, with an unlimited fine.
The new act completely repeals:
- Public Bodies Corrupt Practices Act 1889
- Prevention of Corruption Act 1906 and
- Prevention of Corruption Act 1916
and partially repeals, revokes or amends a number of other linked legislative instruments.
All offences pre 1st July 2011 will be dealt with under the previous legislation.