“Complying with the UK Bribery Act” Seminar in London, February 23, 2011

Sarah Woodman, Global events journalist
February 17, 2011 /

The Dow Jones Risk & Compliance World Tour will reach out to London its live seminar on complying with the UK Bribery Act come February 23, 2011 to help organizations upgrade their compliance programs.

The new regulations on anti-bribery, which was approved on April 2010 and is slated to be enforced come April 2011, has been branded by critics as too tough for companies that even Christmas gifts of a gold fountain pen or a case of champagne could mean bribery under the approved Bribery Act according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

However, Britain’s Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke has told the House of Commons on February 15 that little efforts to establish a good relationship with clients should not be considered an act of bribery.

The Bribery Act that will regulate commercial organizations provides punishment against any entity found offering financial or other advantages to a second party to effect an illegal transaction.

Legal experts criticizing the Bribery Act said the new regulations could put companies that have weak compliance practices to hot seat even if no evidence could show an act of bribery.

But the UK government confirmed January this year that it will review some provisions of the Bribery Act before its implementation to try to soften tougher regulations on companies competing abroad.

The Growth Review of the Coalition government headed by the treasury and business departments will review the Bribery Act to polish provisions which could drastically impact organizations trying to improve relationships with customers.

A guidance for organizations on how to prevent bribery was published last month.

Meanwhile the SFO has advised all the organizations to keep their records clean to comply with the Bribery Act.

 

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