Bribery Act to Counteract Unscrupulous Accountancy Practices
The new Bribery Act is expected to come into force in April 2011. It was given the ‘Royal Assent’ on April 08, 2010. This Bribery Act is going to abolish the existing bribery laws and will also include areas under its jurisdiction which were not legally offensive until now.
The new anti-bribery laws will include commercial organizations and their malpractices. Laws are made to make offenses punishable and the senior management of offending organizations would also come under its wrap. It has been made clear that in UK enforcement agencies would strictly deal with any individual, senior management, or commercial organization if found guilty. Hence, the SFO has advised all the organizations to keep the records clean and to adopt an anti-corruption culture.
If a company’s accounts are found to be tampered or show wrong figures in order to have some sort of business advantage then they are asking for trouble. The accountants resorting to unethical means would find it difficult to escape once this new anti-bribery Act becomes operative. The guilty management would be equally punishable and answerable for their conduct.
Both bribing as well as being bribed is considered to be an offence by this Act. Bribing a foreign official for personal or commercial benefit is also a punishable. A senior official like secretary, director or manager is as likely to be punished along with his or her employee if that official consented to give or take bribe.
It has been stated that all these offences can be prosecuted in UK if committed within the territory of UK. Even if the bribe has been given overseas the person or organization giving this bribe is punishable.
This new Act will ensure corruption-free culture in UK.