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Bribery Act implemented with a self-reporting initiative for businesses

Replacing the current common law and century-old statutory provisions regarding bribery and corruption, The Bribery Act 2010 came into force on 1 July 2011. Coinciding with the new legislation, the Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland QC, has approved an initiative making it possible for businesses to “self-report” bribery offences.

Police are to report all Bribery Act cases as of 1 July 2011, including any cases that had come to their attention of bribery and corruption that took place under the previous criminal law, to the Crown Office’s Serious and Organised Crime Division (SOCD).

In respect of the self-reporting initiative, the Crown will accept reports from businesses regarding conduct within their organisation which may amount to an offence under both the new Bribery Act or the law prior to 1 July 2011. The Crown will give consideration to refraining from prosecuting the business and instead referring the case to the Civil Recovery Unit (CRU) for civil settlement.

The initiative is to run for 12 months from 1 July 2011 after which it shall be reviewed. In order to participate, businesses have to submit a report through a solicitor to SOCD before 30 June 2012. Similar to the scheme operated in England, Wales and Northern Ireland by the Serious Fraud Office, the initiative will be reviewed at the end of the 12 month period.

The Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland QC said:

“The Bribery Act introduces a stricter, modern anti-bribery regime in the UK. Cases of bribery will be referred to a team of specialist prosecutors within our Serious and Organised Crime Division and cases will be prioritised and tackled effectively.
We are also implementing a self-reporting initiative and hope that this will encourage businesses to proactively report wrongdoing.

We will consider what action requires to be taken in the public interest based on the individual facts of each case referred. In reporting to us businesses will require to demonstrate that they are taking action to remedy serious misconduct in their organisation. This will protect their reputation.”

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Wednesday, 17 April 2024

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