Launching in July, the Bribery Act 2011 replaces many of England’s outdated corruption laws and replaces them with a comprehensive anti-bribery code.
Amongst the new offences is the failure of commercial organisations to prevent bribery. The corporate offence is a significant change from the old bribery law and it makes corporates responsible for ensuring that their anti-corruption procedures are robust.
At the end of March 2011, Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke announced that the act will come into force on 1 July, and not 1 April as previously proposed.
The decision to delay the implementation of the Bribery Act follows criticism that the new law is neither clear nor workable, particularly for small and medium size businesses.
“The Ministry of Justice has sought to address these concerns by publishing a user-friendly seven page quick start guide to the Bribery Act.” Steve Pittaway, Commerical Manager at Documation said. “The Act hasn’t changed; this new guidance simply addresses some of the misconceptions that had surrounded the legislation.”
Business Secretary Vince Cable said the government was “minimising regulatory burdens” on businesses, which now have an additional three months to prepare for the act.
As mentioned in our February customer newsletter (you can sign up to recieve these here) automated expense processing solutions could prove to be a key tool in increasing the visibility that organisations have over client gifts and entertainment. Expense software can also help organisations by providing high-level intelligence on the trends and behaviour of expenses across the organisation as a whole. It will be easier to identify problem areas sooner thereby allowing managers to take timely action.
Documation has reacted to the new Bribery Act by including a new module in iExpense which automatically flags any suspicious claims or trends. The solution also ensures that claimants adhere to corporate derived rules and regulations; reducing the risk of fraudulent claims and bribery. Add this functionality to the benefit of secure online retrieval and a full audit trail and it means that organisations using iExpense are able to actively work towards preventing corporate bribery.