The Bribery Act

All businesses and organisations are now accountable for ensuring the actions of their employees do not breach the latest Bribery legislation and as we have seen even some of the largest businesses are coming under scrutiny. Where an offence is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of a “senior officer” of the institution both that person and the institution can be prosecuted.

For example, do your staff know the dividing line between a gift to a customer and a bribe?

We are aware of a case where an individual at an academic institution was offered a payment by a student in return for arranging the award of a PhD needed for the student’s career advancement. This is easily identifiable as a bribe. But what of the apparently generous donor who demands a controlling place on the board of the new research institute they are funding, together with the right to insist on the courses offered and even admission of students? There are particular risks in relation to international activities. For example, what due diligence is undertaken on overseas agents or intermediaries?

The Bribery Act covers four distinct but related offences

  • offering, promising or giving a bribe
  • requesting, agreeing to receive or accepting a bribe
  • bribing a foreign public official to obtain or retain business
  • failing to prevent bribery but not having “Adequate Procedures” in place.

As is often the case with legislation, it is not always clear what actions are with the law and what are not, for example customer hospitality, if it quite feasible that a customer offered a free seat at Ascot by one company could be seen as a breach of the legislation whilst the same customer being offered an identical seat by an alternative company would not be breaching the legislation.

As a minimum all institutions need to review the adequacy of their existing systems, policies and training. Updating of Policies, Procedures and Manuals together with the effective training and monitoring of staff is likely to be essential, but especially so when schools, colleges and businesses have employees who deal with government contracts, are offering funded training responsible for attracting work, are negotiating contracts or ensuring contract achievement.

Areas when breaches could occur may include:

  • setting up or working with Foreign Business, Offices or Agents
  • working with Suppliers and Contractors
    • potential for common practice abroad to constitute bribery under the act
    • implications of employees or agents becoming involved in local practices, which may constitute offences under the Bribery Act.
    • Incentives, rewards and perks for the issue, renewal or maintenance of a contract
    • catering, cleaning, maintenance
    • accessing Government Funding
  • accepting contributions to school, college, organisational funding
    • equipment, good, services, gifts in kind
    • pupils promotion to sports captain, head boy/girl etc
    • amendments to entry requirements
    • access to preferential services
    • access to Board of Governors
  • Corporate Hospitality
    • what is acceptable what is not

This workshop explores the legislation in some detail explaining what is permissible and what is not. In doing so it aims to provide clear and concise guidance to HR and Operational Managers from all sectors and businesses.

For Whom

This workshop is designed for HR and Operational Managers from all business and Organisations including Commercial, Private, Public, Education and not for profit

Aims and Objectives

Delegates attending will have a clearer and practical understanding of:-

  • bribery and its consequences
  • the rationale for and detail of the Bribery Act 2010
  • critical compliance issues for any organisation or company
  • critical issues for particular types of organisation or company
  • how to develop and manage Bribery Act policies and procedures in house
  • how to carry out a Bribery risk assessment
  • how to consider external stakeholders and/or providers of goods, facilities and services
  • law enforcement frameworks
  • how to obtain further information and advice or help

Content

1.Understanding Bribery

  • Understanding the Context – a look at how bribery is defined and how it presents itself using real case studies.
  • What constitutes bribery?
  • Could corporate hospitality constitute bribery?
  • What about donations?

2.The Bribery Act

  • What is the purpose of the Bribery Act?
  • What are the new offences created under the Act?
  • How bribery is to be regulated / understanding what the internal and external risks could be to your organisation or company

3. Meeting The Act, Minimising Risk and Avoiding Prosecution

  • The six key principles for best practice for compliance with the Bribery Act
  • Third party due diligence and ‘elephant traps’
  • A focus on how bribery can occur and the policies you needed to manage the risk of bribery
  • How to carry out and implement a bribery risk assessment toolkit with 12 top practical tips for a compliance checker
  • How else might a company or organisation avoid prosecution?
  • Issues for specific types of organisation and companies
  • Issues for organisations involved in public procurement
  • Engaging staff with the importance of managing bribery
  • Enforcement Framework – The Ministry of Justice and Serious Fraud Office
  • Sources of help and further information