The Office of National Statistics reported an estimated 3.5 million fraud offences occurring between April 2022 and March 2023, while a recent Economic Crime Survey revealed that 46% of businesses have encountered more than one incident of fraudulent activity.

In light of these shocking statistics, it’s important for employers to assess whether current control measures offer sufficient protection for their business. The Bribery Act of 2010 is a cornerstone in the fight against corruption, setting stringent guidelines to safeguard integrity and transparency in commercial transactions.

In this article, we’ll explore what the Bribery Act 2010 is, including the various offences it covers and its key principles to help you stay compliant and remain on the right side of the law.

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What is the Bribery Act 2010?

The Bribery Act 2010 is a robust piece of legislation designed to address bribery and corruption in all its forms, domestically and internationally. The Act applies to individuals and businesses alike, regardless of size or sector, making compliance essential for all entities operating within the UK jurisdiction.

Offences under the Bribery Act 2010

There are four primary offences under the Bribery Act 2010:

  • Bribing Another Person: Offering, promising, or giving a bribe to induce improper performance of a relevant function or activity.
  • Requesting, Agreeing to Receive, or Accepting a Bribe: Soliciting, accepting, or agreeing to receive a bribe in exchange for improper performance of a relevant function of activity.
  • Bribery of Foreign Public Officials: Offering, promising, or giving a bribe to a foreign public official to influence them in their official capacity.
  • Failure to Prevent Bribery: Under section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010, failing to prevent bribery by its associated persons acting on behalf of the organisation, unless adequate procedures to prevent bribery were in place.

Do I need an anti-bribery policy?

Absolutely. Having a solid anti-bribery policy is not just a recommendation but a necessity under the Bribery Act 2010. This policy demonstrates your commitment to ethical business practices and outlines clear guidelines and procedures for employees to follow, emphasising zero-tolerance towards bribery and corruption. Moreover, an anti-bribery policy provides a layer of protection for your business, shielding it from potential legal repercussions and reputational damage.

Check out our blogs for further insights on how anti-bribery and corruption can affect you, and learn about what is considered acceptable and unacceptable practices.

What to include in your anti-bribery policy

In compliance with UK legislation, an anti-bribery policy should include the following details:

  • Strategies for minimising and managing the risks associated with bribery.
  • Clear guidelines regarding the acceptance of gifts, hospitality, or donations.
  • Provide directives on conducting business activities, such as negotiating contracts, in an ethical manner.
  • Implement rules to prevent or mitigate conflicts of interest within your business.

The 6 principles of the Bribery Act 2010 to prevent bribery

To ensure compliance with the Bribery Act 2010, businesses should adhere to the following six principles set out by the Ministry of Justice.

  • Proportionate procedures

Implement anti-bribery policies and measures that are proportionate to the size, nature, and complexity of your business operations.

  • Top-Level Commitment

Demonstrate unequivocal support for anti-bribery initiatives from senior management, encouraging a culture of integrity from the top down.

  • Risk Assessment

Conduct regular risk assessments to identify and mitigate potential bribery risks within your business and supply chains (if any).

  • Due Diligence

Exercise due diligence when engaging with third parties, suppliers, and business partners, making sure they share your commitment to anti-bribery principles.

  • Communication and Training

Provide comprehensive training to employees at all levels, fostering awareness and understanding of anti-bribery policies and procedures.

  • Monitoring and Review

Continuously monitor and review your anti-bribery policies to adapt to evolving risks and regulatory requirements effectively.

Protect your business from bribery with Smas

With our tailored PQQ (Pre-Qualification Questionnaire) package, we can help your business deliver and meet compliance requirements.

Our anti-bribery and corruption team will offer expert guidance and support to help you implement policies correctly. Plus, we offer suppliers a pre-qualification questionnaire template for contractors with our simple supply chain management service.

Upgrade your existing SSIP accreditation to cover more than just Health & Safety with Smas. Get in touch by calling 01752 643962 or request a quote and we’ll be in touch.