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Existing international best practice points to the need for clear leadership fromcompany management as well as practical implementation procedures including training, audits and helplines, so concerned employees can report problems where necessary. [...] in its report on the OECD convention last year, the anti-corruption non-governmental organisation Transparency International cited 21 countries with 'little or no enforcement' of their laws against foreign bribery.

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									THEWORLDTODAY.ORG JULY 2010
PAGE 26
          A WORLD WITHOUT BRIBES?
          John Bray, LEAD ANTI-CORRUPTION SPECIALIST, CONTROL RISKS
          Britain’s new Bribery Act, which became
          law in the final weeks of the outgoing
          Labour government, sets a new
          standard in the international campaign
          against corruption. But international
          bribery remains commonplace, so how
          much difference will it make? And how
          far is it possible to envisage a world that
          is truly free from corruption?




          t                HE BRIBERY ACT COVERS PAYMENTS ANYWHERE
                           in the world, and applies to individuals and
                           firms with a close connection to Britain,
                           including companies incorporated there. It is
                           tougher than the United States Foreign
                           Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the most
          widely cited international benchmark, in that it covers bribes
          paid to private entities as well as foreign officials. The
          potential penalties include prison terms for individuals and
          unlimited fines for companies.
             Earlier, Britain had been criticised by its peers in the
          Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
          (OECD) for its antiquated anti-corruption laws and poor
          enforcement record. Now it can truly claim to have world-
          class anti-bribery legislation.

                                                                               significant change, even before the passage of the new law.
          E M P H AS I S O N P R E V E N T IO N                                   Recent landmark cases include the conviction last
             Companies based in Britain have already begun to take             September of engineering company Mabey & Johnson,
          note. One of the innovative features of the Act is that it           which was sentenced to pay a total penalty of £6.6 million
          introduces a new corporate offence of failure to prevent             ($9.7 million) on charges of paying bribes via local agents
          bribery. However, it also offers an escape route. If a rogue         in Ghana and Jamaica, and in connection with the Iraq
          employee is found to have paid bribes, companies will be able        oil-for-food case.
          to defend themselves as long as they can demonstrate that               In February the defence company BAE’s joint settlement
          they have ‘adequate procedures’ to prevent such conduct.             with Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the US
             The Ministry of Justice has promised to publish guidelines        authorities resulted in fines of £30 million ($44 million) and
          on the nature of these procedures before the Act comes into          $400 million. And in April a former DePuy executive was
          effect later this year. These guidelines are expected to be based    sentenced to a year’s imprisonment – later suspended on
          on principles rather than specifics. Existing international best     appeal – after admitting his involvement in the payment of the
          practice points to the need for clear leadership from company        equivalent of $6.6 million worth of bribes to officials in the
          management as well as
								
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