Ministry of Justice Anti-Bribery Consultation

As covered in Regulatory Roundup 17 the offences under the Bribery Act 2010 will become enforceable from April 2011. Firms will be aware that there will be a defence for organisations in section 9 of the Bribery Act where ‘adequate procedures’ were in place to prevent bribery.

The Ministry of Justice has published a consultation document on guidance about commercial organisations preventing bribery and ‘Annex A – Draft guidance’ of that document sets out a principles based approach as to what ‘adequate procedures’ might include.

Transparency International has already released unofficial guidance (there was a link to this in Regulatory Roundup 17) on what those procedures might be in anticipation of the official guidance required from the Secretary of State.

The consultation document states that the ‘draft at Annex A is designed to complement, not replace or supersede other forms of bribery prevention guidance published by industry or sector representative bodies or by non-governmental organisations’.

Consultation on the Ministry of Justice guidance about commercial organisations preventing bribery ends on 8 November and the official guidance is anticipated alongside the response to the consultation in ‘early 2011’.