The Bribery Act 2010 - guidance delay

The Bribery Act final guidance for businesses, due to be published by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) at the end of January 2011, has been delayed.

There has been speculation in the press that the delay is the result of a wider government growth review announced in November 2010. The growth review will aim to improve the business environment in the UK by cutting red tape and adopting a more pro-business agenda and the Bribery Act will be looked at as just one part of that review.

However, the Prime Minister's Office, the Ministry of Justice and the Serious Fraud Office have not given any indication that the Bribery Act is likely to be substantially delayed or watered down. The Serious Fraud Office has reconfirmed its strong support for the Bribery Act and for ethical UK corporates this week, while the Prime Minister’s Spokeswoman recently emphasised that bribery should play no part in winning investment or business.

The MOJ has indicated that no new date for publication of the guidance has yet been fixed, although the guidance and "getting it right" remains a top priority within the MOJ. We await notification from the MOJ as to the likely publication date. Our understanding is that this is still likely to be within the next few weeks, with implementation of the Act to follow roughly 3 months later. We will send a further update as soon as we have more news.

It remains our view that companies would be well advised to continue their preparations to ensure they will comply with the new legislation.

For further guidance as to how we can help you to prepare, please do not hesitate to contact us.
 

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