The Bribery Act 2010 introduces a strict and tightly controlled approach to anti-bribery and corruption legislation, which differs to the approach previously used by the UK. The scope of the Bribery Act 2010 is a lot larger, in attempt to restrict more bribery and corruption offences. The Bribery Act applies to many more organisations and individuals than the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 1977 (FCPA), as it applies to any individual or organisation that commits a bribery offence which is in contact with the UK. Consequently, if your organisation will be carrying business within the UK, then it is wise to implement adequate procedures within your business to protect the organisation against the UK Bribery Act.
Who will the Bribery Act 2010 apply to?
The UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has acknowledged that the Bribery Act 2010 is significantly more demanding than previous legislation used to combat bribery and corruption. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the UK courts will be responsible for administering convictions, and therefore they have control over bribery offences which occur in and outside of the UK. Therefore, the scope of the Bribery Act is international.
Consequently, if an organisation works upon an international basis and deals with the UK, they need to comply with the UK Bribery Act 2010. If international organisations don't achieve compliance, then they will be subject to penalties, in the form of unlimited fines.
Essentially, the Bribery Act will apply to an individual if:
- A British citizen has committed a bribery offence anywhere in the world.
- A British associate with a connection to the UK, such as through business, conducts a bribery offence in or outside of the UK.
The Bribery Act will apply to an organisation if:
- The organisation is incorporated in the UK and has committed a bribery offence anywhere in the world.
- An organisation or partnership that has carried business in the UK and has therefore had involvement and a footprint in the UK, is subject to the UK Bribery Act.
In April 2018 Stephen Banks, managing director of Skansen Interiors Limited, and Graham Deakin, director of DTZ Ltd, were imprisoned following the Crown Court prosecution hearing. Banks and Deakin were found guilty of a bribery offence, which involved Banks bribing Deakin with £10,000 with the purpose to gain confidential information from Deakin in 2012.
As a result of the bribe, Skansen won contracts in excess of £6 million with DTZ due to the confidential information they had received. Following bribery investigation, both Banks and Deakin pleaded guilty to bribery. The penalties issued against them included:
- Banks sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and disqualification as director of Skansen for 6 years.
- Deakin sentenced to 20 months imprisonment and disqualification as director of DTZ for 7 years.
Furthermore, Deakin was fined £10,697 to avoid a further 7 months in prison. Skansen Interiors Limited was convicted for failing to implement adequate procedures, needed to prevent bribery from occurring as it did. Therefore, this is a demonstration of an individual penalty for conducting a bribery offence and the penalty inflicted upon an organisation for failing to prevent bribery from occurring.
The penalties which can be inflicted upon both individuals and corporations for bribery offences are severe. Therefore, to avoid penalties and to identify when the UK Bribery Act applies to you and your organisation, training and education of the Bribery Act is essential.