After several years of criticism over lax
enforcement of existing anticorruption laws, and more than a decade of failed
efforts to pass similar legislation, the UK is on the verge of passing
comprehensive anti-bribery legislation. The UK Bribery Bill is modeled after
but reaches beyond the
United States' Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), U.S. legislation that has
in the past few years been enforced aggressively by the U.S. government against
both U.S. and foreign companies.
The Bribery Bill is scheduled for its second
reading before the House of Commons this week, and is on track for passage in
the next two months. If enacted during this session of Parliament, the Bribery
Bill would come into effect in 2010 and give the UK a strong platform upon which
to build new anticorruption enforcement efforts.
The general structure of the Bribery Bill's
anticorruption regime is familiar to anyone who has experience with the FCPA,
including penalties for the payment or offer of illicit inducements to foreign
government officials, and for failure to have adequate controls in place to
detect and remediate corruption issues as they arise. However, the UK
legislation takes that model several steps further, including, for example,
criminal liability for bribery occurring in purely commercial settings.
A detailed review of the Bribery Bill can be
here, including a description of its four offences, their jurisdictional
reach and those areas where the Bribery Bill and FCPA diverge.
Government, Regulatory and Criminal Investigations Department has attorneys
with extensive experience defending anticorruption investigations; conducting
anticorruption risk assessments, audits and internal investigations; and
designing and helping to implement overall and anticorruption-specific
corporate compliance programs and training. For more information about the
capabilities of our Government, Regulatory and Criminal Investigations
Department in this or any other area, including the capabilities of
International Fraud/Anticorruption group.