Qualified in accountancy....

 .... experienced in leisure

Telephone 01803-844425

Accounting & General...

                     ...ADVICE FOR BUSINESS

Accounting & General- Accountants Devon, Accountancy Devon, Devon, Torquay, Paignton, Brixham, Cornwall, Somerset, Dorset|© 2011

The Bribery Act 2010 has relevance to all businesses, but particular application with those of a size where systems and procedures are needed for employees that purchase on behalf of the organisation.

There are four categories of offence:

1. Offering, promising or giving an advantage.

2. Requesting, agreeing to receive an advantage, or accepting one.

3. Bribery of a foreign public official.

4. Failure by a company to prevent a bribe being paid on its behalf.

Penalties are an unlimited fine and up to 10 years imprisonment.

Risk assessments and policies need to have been undertaken and put in place by 1st July 2011. A company has a full defence if it can demonstrate adequate procedures in place. An underlying fact is that a (small) business owner, with or without procedures, must not breach any of the four categories of offence.

Government guidance on the Act follows six principles:

1. The actions a business undertakes must be proportionate to the risks and its size.

2. The top level of management must evidence commitment to the Act principles, and its culture.

3. The business should assess the nature and extent of its risks.

4. Due diligence must be shown towards who the organisation works with– employees and customers.

5. Policies and procedures must be communicated to employees and third parties (suppliers/customers).

6. There must be regular review.

Consider amending an employee’s contract of employment to include bribery as an act of gross misconduct.

It is worthwhile to review hospitality, gift and charitable support policies. If the Act is to have any impact on small UK facing leisure businesses, perhaps its it will be in situations of new business investment and construction. Consider relationships with Local Authorities with regard to planning permissions, and the watchful eye of local lobby groups.

For general businesses, proportionality is the key. Sponsorship of events and the reward of contributing suppliers or customers is still permitted, in proportion to the operations of the business. But it must not be of size to unduly influence and official in his or her role, and thereby secure business advantage.

Detailed Government guidance can be found here.


For definitive reference, here is a link to the Department of Work & Pensions guidance on the subject - click here.

The Bribery Act 2010