Bribery penalties unveiled

Bribery penalties unveiled


Prosecution guidelines under The Bribery Act 2010 have just been announced.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keir Starmer (QC), and the Director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) Richard Alderman have delivered joint guidance for prosecutors.

The set of guidelines published on how the Bribery Act should be managed should clear up any confusion left by postponing the act.

The guidelines consist of four offence sections: bribing another, being bribed, bribing a foreign official, and for commercial organisations – failing to prevent bribery.

The SFO's Director, Richard Alderman, said:"The Bribery Act is good news for the UK and UK business.  It confirms our commitment to helping to eradicate bribery from business practices.  It will help ensure that ethical businesses do not lose out to others that use bribery and corruption to win contracts.  We shall enforce the act vigorously, but we are still very keen to listen to specific issues that companies have. I want to work with ethical businesses to resolve problems pragmatically and fairly".

The DPP, Keir Starmer QC, head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said:"While the Act takes a robust approach to commercial bribery, it also applies to individuals who attempt to influence the application of rules, regulations and normal procedures.

"This guidance will enable prosecutors to adopt a consistent approach to decision making across the whole range of bribery cases.

"The issues prosecutors must consider before deciding whether to seek my consent to prosecute an individual or an organisation for bribery are clearly outlined, and by making this guidance publicly available, our approach is made open and transparent."

The Bribery Act is set to be implemented on July 1 2011, strengthening fair competition within the UK by prosecuting those who fail to adhere to new laws.

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