Make sure your due-diligence strategy meets UK Anti-bribery Act standards
A Guide to the UK Bribery Act:
What you need to know to mitigate compliance risk
The cost of corruption eclipses any single bribe to gain a competitive advantage in business. In addition to economic losses—for nations, businesses, communities and individuals—bribery and corruption obstruct democracy and the rule or law, weaken trust in political and economic leaders, and often lead to the exploitation of natural and human resources. Calculating the cost—given all of the ways corruption impacts politics, economies, society and the environment—is nearly impossible, however the World Economic Forum estimates that the cost of corruption “… equals more than 5 percent of global GDP (US$ 2.6 trillion) with more than US$ 1 trillion paid in bribes each year.”1
Nearly 20 years ago, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), introduced its Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions, and member countries began introducing legislation to bring an end to corruption.2 In 2010, the UK passed the Bribery Act to strengthen its ability to target bribery and corruption within its borders and beyond.
What Does the 2010 UK Bribery Act (UKBA) Mandate?
According to Transparency International, a global organization focused on eradicating corruption, the UKBA is one of the strictest pieces of anti-bribery legislation in the world.3 The four offences addressed by the UKBA include two general restrictions against:
- The offering, promising or giving of a bribe, also called active bribery
- The requesting, agreeing to receive or accepting of a bribe, also called passive bribery
The law goes even further by identifying to specific aspects of commercial bribery:
- A restriction against the bribery of a foreign public official to win or retain business or a
- Significant corporate liability for failing to prevent the use of bribery to win or retain business or a business advantage
The UKBA applies to both UK companies operating abroad and for overseas companies with a presence in the UK. The corporate offence goes beyond the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which allows some routine administration payments to government officials. The UKBA, on the other hand, only allows payments where an individual was proven to be under duress, such as paying ransom to avoid harm.
Six Principles for Meeting the Act’s Requirements
UKBA guidance suggests six key ways that companies can improve their ability to comply with the law.
- Develop risk-proportionate procedures.
- Set the tone at the top.
- Conduct risk assessments of external AND internal resources.
- Take a risk-based approach to due diligence.
- Raise awareness through training and communication.
- Implement an on-going monitoring program.
Download the full white paper to find out more about these six principles, learn about potential penalties of non-compliance with the Act and identify what you should look for in a due-diligence solution to ensure you have the information you need.