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Don’t let bribery spoil your business – the new standards for anti-bribery

On 5 April 2016 Braid Logistics (UK) Limited – a Glasgow and London based company – agreed to pay £2.2 million under a Civil Recovery Order. This is the most recent enforcement action in Scotland under the Bribery Act 2010. The company accepted that it had committed offences under the Bribery Act 2010. Now, criminal prosecutions of the individuals involved are likely to follow.

This is the latest example in a number of cases both North and South of the border. Law enforcement agencies are making increased used of their powers to prosecute the offences under the 2010 Act and every business should take notice.

How to prevent, detect and deal with bribery

Earlier this month the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) published ISO 37001 – an Anti-Bribery Management System Standard. ISO 37001 is aimed at helping organisations establish, implement, maintain and improve their anti-bribery compliance procedures. The Standard is designed to be adaptable for every size of business, including SMEs.

To meet the Standard businesses must ensure measures are in place to help prevent, detect and deal with bribery. These include maintaining an anti-bribery policy, management leadership, commitment and responsibility (also known as setting the “tone from the top”), personnel controls and training, risk assessment and due diligence on projects and business associates.

Why use ISO 37001?shaking hands

It’s a globally recognised standard, therefore wherever you trade following it gives stakeholders an assurance that reasonable steps are being taken to prevent bribery within your organisation.
Should your business end up in the unfortunate position of being investigated, having these in place will go a long way to providing evidence that all reasonable steps have been taken to prevent bribery by ensuring compliance with the minimum global requirements for implementing and maintaining an anti-bribery management system.

Lessons to learn from Braid Logistics

With this in mind, SMEs should ensure that their bribery and corruption policies and procedures are reviewed frequently. It’s important to ensure that the principles in the 2010 Act are being met in a way that is reasonable and proportionate to the size and type of your business.

Young & Partners are ideally placed to assist with reviewing these policies. If this would be of interest to your business please don’t hesitate to contact Julie Sullivan at jks@businesslaw.co.uk, alternatively call to discuss on 01383 721 621.

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