Basic Training - Bribery Act 2010 - Sample Module

Section 3 - Summary of the Bribery Act 2010

The Main Offences (continued)

A relevant commercial organisation may be prosecuted for failing to prevent bribery under this section if a person associated with them commits conduct amounting to a section 1 (active bribery) or 6 (bribery of a foreign public official) offence. Conduct amounting to a section 2 offence (passive bribery) will NOT trigger liability under this section.

A relevant commercial organisation is defined as a body or partnership incorporated or formed in the UK irrespective of where it carries on business or an incorporated body or partnership which carries on a business or part of a business in the UK. It does not matter for what purpose profits are made.

An associated person is defined as any person who performs services on behalf of the organisation.

It does not matter where in the world the offence takes place and the requirement of a "close connection" does NOT apply to this section. This means an organisation can be charged with failing to prevent bribery by a person working on the behalf of its business (regardless of where they are located). This does not only apply to an employee but to agents, partners, subsidiaries, and contractors etc. working on the organisation's behalf.

There is no requirement for the prosecution authorities to prove if the owners or senior officers of the organisation knew or consented to the bribe. However under section 14 of the Act the owners and senior officers of a company may become liable if the company is guilty of a section 1, 2 or 6 offence with their knowledge or consent.

The Act provides a statutory defence to a prosecution under this section if the organisation can demonstrate that it had adequate bribery prevention procedure & policies in place. The onus of proof is with the organisation. The level of proof required is based on the balance of probabilities, commonly known as the civil level of proof.

The prosecution will however have to prove beyond reasonable doubt (the criminal level of proof) that a section 1 or 6 offence has occurred.

Section 9 of the Act stipulates that the secretary of state must publish guidance for relevant commercial organisations as to what bribery prevention procedures and policies they should consider implementing. This guidance is discussed in the next section of this module.

Please answer the following review question:

Section 7 of the Act does NOT apply to charitable or educational organisations?

A: True        B: False

Note. In the actual module correct and incorrect responses with an explanation will be given.

Section 4 - Bribery Prevention

Bribery Prevention Procedures & Policies (continued)

The preventative procedures required by an individual organisation will vary greatly depending on the size and nature of its business activities.

The owners and officers of an organisation have ultimate responsibility to prevent both fraud and bribery. It will be their decision at to what preventative procedures are put in place and to ensure they are effectively implemented .

However it is important that all relevant members of an organisation should help prevent and report any potential corrupt or fraudulent activities. It is therefore important to understand:

  • The reason for some of the bribery prevention procedures you may come across
  • Some of the warning signs of bribery
  • What action to take if you become aware of or suspect bribery
  • What rights you have if you report such activities

The majority of bribery prevention procedures and policies will also help prevent or detect fraud within an organisation.

Although the Bribery Act does not cover fraud it is important to understand that there is often a strong link between bribery and fraud. For example an employee may be bribed to process a fraudulent invoice from a vendor.