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UK Bribery Act Compliance

What is the UK Bribery Act?

The UK Bribery Act criminalizes bribing foreign officials and business representatives. It covers UK citizens, residents and organizations that originate from the UK or conduct business there.

Challenge of Addressing UK Bribery Act Compliance

The UK Bribery Act has been described as the toughest anti-corruption legislation in the world and is one of two anti-corruption measures – along with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) – that sets modern global standards for bribery and corruption prevention and enforcement. The UK Bribery Act heightens liability risks for companies, directors and individuals – and in fact has a wider scope than the older FCPA. Compliance is key for British companies operating abroad as UK Bribery Act penalties are steep, including fines, confiscation of property and even imprisonment.

The UK Bribery Act includes two general offences: the offering or giving of an “advantage,” and the requesting, agreeing to receive, or accepting of an “advantage.” It also goes deeper into these generalities by further emphasizing the bribery of foreign officials, as well as the failures by commercial organizations to effectively prevent bribery through adequate enforcement of policies. In addition, UK Bribery Act compliance includes proper third-party risk management – one of the key differences when it comes to the FCPA vs the UK Bribery Act.

What You Need

Anti-Bribery Compliance Training

Employees must be trained on the behaviors that constitute suspicious activity, the factors that define a foreign official, and the nuances of doing business on behalf of the company.

Supply Chain Risk Management

Organizations must extend their anti-bribery and corruption efforts to their vendors, contractors and other third parties with effective monitoring and due diligence.

Bribery Reporting Mechanisms

Accessible reporting tools and processes should be in place so employees can help initiate investigations when they see a potential UK Bribery Act violation.

Anti-Bribery Policies & Procedures

Organization-wide policies should align with UK Bribery Act guidance and be effectively distributed to employees for understanding and attestation.  

Steps You Can Take to Avoid UK Bribery Act Penalties

Step 1

Make sure your policies and procedures capture the heightened regulations outlined in the UK Bribery Act and are effectively communicated and attested to by employees.

Step 2

Offer multiple whistleblower reporting methods, including a compliance hotline to empower your employee base to identify and report potential violations.

Step 3

Provide thorough anti-bribery training to your entire workforce and develop a robust multiyear training program for employees who are in positions of heightened risk for situations of bribery.

Step 4

Implement a transparent third-party risk management system to align your supply chain with internal anti-bribery standards.