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New UK Bribery Act 2010... What Does It Mean?

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posted on May, 12 2011 @ 08:54 PM
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First of all, not sure exactly where this should go so mods, feel free to move it if you find a better home.

It's a new law that may make it much more difficult for corruption in the UK to go unnoticed...

The new UK Bribery Act 2010… so what does it mean?

On the 1st of July 2011, the Bribery Act will come into force. A long awaited piece of legislation that makes bribery unbelievably difficult within UK organisations.


So… what was the problem in the first place?

Whether you were aware of this or not, bribery is rife within the UK just as it is around the world. However, bribery in the UK is sneakier than it is in other countries. Bribery comes in countless forms, like cold hard cash from one person to another, or other commercial favours and seems to vanish from the view of the authorities.

The current laws in place that cover offences of bribery are over 100 years old, going all the way back to the Public Bodies Corrupt Practices Act 1889. There have been so many advancements in business, communication and technology which have made the old law so outdated. There have been so few prosecutions in the UK and allegations of bribery have seemed to be ignored.

Today’s businesses, corporations and politicians exploit these huge loopholes to ensure that things go their way.


What’s the solution?

The Bribery Act 2010 makes it very difficult for bribery to go undetected. Bribery has a new definition… it is a crime to give any “financial or other advantage” (Section 1 Bribery Act) to anyone even remotely connected to the organisations. This means that a meal at a lavish hotel will be classed as a bribe.

It is a ‘Strict Liability’ offence… in other words; if bribery has taken place the whole organisation and its directors will be AUTOMATICALLY guilty (Section 7 Bribery Act). No ‘innocent until proven guilty’ here, just guilt and there’s no way of escaping it!

The Conservative Party were unhappy with these proposals back in April 2010 and tried to ‘water down’ the Act so it was more lenient to the business elite. Whether good or bad, they had little effect.


So what now?

Well, the Bribery Act is HUGE in the world of business, governments and other organisations. It effects not only the transactions in the UK but to anyone closely connected to the United Kingdom. The transactions do not even have to take place on UK soil.


This makes a huge problem for charities…


What happens when UK charities need to get past borders and checkpoints to hand out aid? It is common practice to bribe the guards at the checkpoint with money, or food and water because a lot of the time these guards are just as much in need as others in the area. BUT now these charities will be automatically guilty back in the UK for these ‘bribes’.


So, to conclude…

The Bribery Act is an eagerly waited addition to the United Kingdom legal system. It will certainly help prevent the hidden corruption and dishonesty that floods countless organisations within the UK. Businesses will need to be conducted carefully with more honesty. It will be a huge obstacle for the elite as it means that even they will be liable for corrupt practices.

However, the problems begin when bribes are genuinely needed to get aid across, for example in Libya. Is it fair that these aid workers should be guilty of bribery when they are performing such an altruistic act?

We shall see how it all works out when the Bribery Act comes into force in the UK on 1st July 2011. Let us hope that this will make a genuine change in politics, business and other corrupt organisations.


Peace




posted on May, 12 2011 @ 09:05 PM
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I'm just trying to work out what would happen to the US government Lobbyist system if this act was introduced in America, not knocking americans just the system.



posted on May, 12 2011 @ 09:23 PM
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reply to post by JustXeno
 


Thanks for reading


I know what you mean. If something like this was introduced in America, Dick Cheney would have been guilty of bribery when KBR admitted to paying over a hundred million dollars in bribes.

Dick Cheney Faces Bribery Charges

Although the Bribery Act is a good step towards something positive, it is still only a little step.

We have to wait and see what the next few months have in store to find out whether it will be a real success or not.

Peace



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 12:18 AM
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All I know is I had to take mandatory training today regarding the UK Anti-Bribery law, even though I am in the USA. Apparently, if I do anything that could be considered questionable, it opens the company I work for (which is UK based) to lawsuit in the UK.



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 04:29 AM
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I hope your not trying to drum up support for watering down this law. Sure, it'll be harder for the cases you describe but there is no way in hell I would want to see once-in-a-lifetime good bit of legislation get wantered down just becase the busienss community and the elite in general, who have never gvien a h**t about the poor before, suddenldy seem to be very concerned about the work of charaties all of a sudden. Particularly when they themselves would be the biggest benfactors of watered down legislation.

You gotta be joking



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 06:13 AM
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reply to post by bussoboy
 


No, I'm not trying to 'drum support' for the watering down of the legislation... I don't believe it should and it would be pointless because it would have very little effect on the Law itself.

I agree with you, I am personally glad that it was not watered down since I feel that the corporations and the elite finally have an obstacle in the way of their corruption.

I work for a small organisation that builds homes and badly needed public buildings in Bangladesh. In places like Bangladesh, India and even China it is the norm for a little extra payment in business. It is commonly referred to as a 'Facilitation Payment'. For example, you pay the driver a little extra in order to ensure your delivery is on time. Although I do not agree with this practice, it is the norm in these places and by not making little payments like this it is difficult to be taken seriously there... why work for us if the driver can make more money working with someone that pays facilitation payments?

The new Act makes it illegal for us to make the payments as it would make us criminally liable for bribery back in the UK.

So, once again I think it is a great piece of legislation as it was badly needed. I am not trying to make people think it is a bad Law or anything like that. I am simply trying to draw people's attention to the other side of the coin... I don't think it is fair that organisations such as charities should be treated with the same severity as huge corporations.

But then again, if there is a loophole for charities, anyone and everyone would set up charities and pass bribes on through them! So, maybe it's a Catch 22 situation. Either way, the people most likely to be worst off by the Act are people in other countries that the Act never never intended to have in its scope.



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 06:19 AM
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reply to post by rogerstigers
 


It's shocking to think how a UK Law practically global effect. What type of company do you work for, if you don't mind me asking?



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 09:37 AM
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Originally posted by NeverAcquiesce
reply to post by rogerstigers
 


It's shocking to think how a UK Law practically global effect. What type of company do you work for, if you don't mind me asking?


I work for a multi-national IT company.





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