This act came into force on 1st July 2011. The act has consolidated the existing laws and led to the introduction of failure to prevent bribery offense. The act is widely drafted with an ambitious territorial application that extends beyond the United Kingdom boundaries.
This article deliberates on the law regarding bribery in the United Kingdom.
The following offenses are categorized as bribery:
Soliciting/paying/offering/acceptance of bribery
Bribes are paid/received to a sound person aimed at influencing certain privileges. The offenses are committed even when funds have not yet been transferred. As such, the offenses are set out as follows:
• Bribing another person by promising or giving money to another person to influence certain privileges. Besides, requesting money to perform certain functions improperly is bribery.
• Functions encompass any public function or any activity performed during the recruitment process. The person performing the services as such is expected to act impartially.
Bribing public officers
Here the offenses are committed when a person offers financial privileges aimed at influencing the public officer to act impartially. The offense does not necessarily require improper performance; it entails remitting funds that are not sanctioned by the law.
Who is liable in the commitment of these offenses?
The act has a broad territorial application. The following individuals will be held responsible for committing bribery no matter where they are in the world of offense.
• Partnerships and companies incorporated in the United Kingdom.
• Oversees British citizens
• Ordinary residents in the United Kingdom
Besides, any company or person regardless of nationality within the United Kingdom, wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland boundaries commits the aforementioned offenses. For instance, if a United Kingdom resident company director is found guilty of bribing his way to win a contract in Nigeria, both the individual and the company are criminally responsible and will face the wrath of the bribery act.
Failure to Prevent Bribery as the New Offence
Most agencies sought to limit their potential exposure to the UK Bribery Act by using third party agents to act on their behalf in places where bribes are accepted to do business. This is because the bribery act bars the companies from acting for themselves. However, an agency will be guilty of bribery acts if other parties such as employees, subsidiary agency, and third parties acting on their behalf. The company can only avoid being held responsible by showing adequate procedures they employed aimed at preventing bribery.
In summary, the UK Bribery Act aims at ensuring integrity, accountability, and upsurge the moral standards upheld dearly by the United Kingdom.