back to article New anti-corruption offences come into force today

New anti-corruption laws come into force today, giving companies more certainty over what constitutes bribery but placing greater obligations on companies to tackle corruption. A company could be responsible for bribery carried out by its employees without its knowledge or consent under the Bribery Act. It creates a new …


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  1. Naughtyhorse

    Oh Noes!!!!!!1!!1!!!!

    First we took away their <ahem> expenses....

    now anti briberly laws.

    just how the hell can britain claim to have the best politicians money can buy with all this going on!

    it's political correctness gone mad i tell you.

    you'll see! in no time at all the only people standing for parliament will be those weirdoes with 'beliefs' in some sort of political -ism or other. What will that nice Mr Cameron do for a job then??

    1. Bumpy Cat

      Troll icon, I know ...

      ... but it's not like any of the moral and intellectual lightweights in Parliament are better; regardless of party, they're all clueless professional politicians in it for the money and power.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      WTF are you talking about

      The entire parliament is a bunch of boy-scouts compared to your average UK PLC.

      Every time I work on a project there is an endless stream of requests to accommodate this particular contractor, this particular vendor, etc and every time I do even the minimum of digging it is clear that the reason for the request is plain and simple - "vested interest". Either of the person requesting or of someone behind him get a kickback or accumulate "special favor credit".

  2. Heff


    new laws and regulations to incorporate into the cost-of-doing-business model, to be lackadaiscally enforced and then appealed down to minor fines.

  3. cannon
    Big Brother


    not that these laws will be enforced on UK companies that our government is involved with the dodgy dealing with, like bae systems..

    How Blair put pressure on Goldsmith to end BAE investigation

    Official memos released in court case (pdf)

  4. Jolyon Ralph

    Whatever happened to

    the official The Register bribery and corruption list (price for writing a good review, deleting an unfavoruable article, etc)...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Whatever happened to

      You mean this?

  5. Anonymous Coward


    How can a law that needs 45 pages of guidance be clear. Today laws enacted by parliament are completely meaningless as they are being continually modified by guidance. I think the people who draft the laws do this deliberately to give civil servants more power. Vague laws give our golden plated pension overlords more power to bully and harass us.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      That's the goal

      The Surgeon General recommends Three Felonies Per Day. For everyone.

      It's always hilarious when the "if you do X, you have nothing to fear from this law" is trotted out YET AGAIN.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    "the Act also creates the offence of bribing a foreign public official...

    ...even if that person has demanded a bribe"

    I give it 6 weeks before Nigeria declares bankruptcy. Can't get anything done down there without a backhander or seven. Per person. Within earshot.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Shortly followed by FIFA

      Who probably have more money than Nigeria to start with.

  7. JP19

    How much will this cost

    How much will this political 'look how much holier than thou we are' willy waving cost us in lost business and trade?

    If you can't do business in some countries without back handers unless that country is ours it is not our problem.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    @Destroy All Monsters

    Back in the days of the Soviet Union, there was a story about the luggage carts at Moscow airport:

    In order to check in your luggage you needed a trolley and each was released by inserting a one rouble (?) coin. You would then be escorted through security into the departure area. It was also illegal to take any Russian currency out of the country. By passing through check-in, every person leaving the country effectively broke this law, allowing anyone the state wished to be arrested or charged with serious international money trafficking crimes.

    UK law appears to now be based on this model... the more laws there are and the more impossible the law is to understand, the more the state can impose itself on anyone, for any reason...

    So you're a UK citizen or employee abroad in say, Zimbabwe and have been pulled over by the police for some none existent offence... Do you give the guy the $10 bribe he wants and drive away, potentially breaking some loony UK law, or do you risk spending an indefinite period in police cells that many have not returned from? How many UK businesses will be unable to do business in country's where bribes (wrongly in my opinion, but that's not the point) are regarded by their governments as little more than compulsory tips? How long before China makes it illegal for their citizens to report news or similar when abroad in the UK, and uses our crazy laws as justification?

    More to the point, WTF happened to the "great repeal bill" that was supposed to get rid of most of this self serving crap?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Great Repeal Bill

      "More to the point, WTF happened to the "great repeal bill" that was supposed to get rid of most of this self serving crap?"

      The following comment may answer your question:-

  9. Bluenose

    Clarity is the one thing this law does not provide

    One can understand why Pinsent think this law is clear and good for business, its because they will earn huge sums of money writing contracts for their customers and giving their customer's subcontractors a hard time by demanding indemnities and making them comply with rules set by the customer as well as the ones set by the government and their own internal rules (three sets of rules to meet one Act of Parliament what a pay day for lawyers).

    It is time the UK govt stopped trying to micro manage business and people's lives and let us get on with doing what we used to be good at, living our own lives and making money. If they are so worried about bribery stop giving corrup governments huge sums of cash to buy British goods or to be nice to us or to try an influence them do business with us.

    Now that could be a good first test of the law, take the govt to court for bribing foreign states to buy British goods!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's the word I'm after? Oh yes - bollocks...

    "However, businesses that try their best to comply with the provisions of the Act, and which behave in an ethical manner, will have nothing to fear."

    Right. When EVERYTHING is set/determined/run for the pure motive of money, all this does is redirect those £s into government - and they hardly hold the ethical high ground...

  11. Sir Barry


    I'm going to have to find new sources of income.

  12. Steen Hive
    Thumb Down

    'White-collar' crime

    except for a few notable show-trials - is, and will continue to be, woefully under-detected, under-investigated and under-punished. No surprises there then.

  13. Suburban Inmate

    They're not bribes.

    They're "donations".

    Problem solved.

  14. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    This ...

    ... is a seriously piss-poor piece of legislation that utterly ignores the reality of doing business in the world. I can sort of understand why the over-controlling "Nothing must happen unless there is a law to control it" New Labour loons wanted it, but why have the Tories gone along with it? There is a serious disconnect here, and I just cannot fathom it (hence the Paris icon).

  15. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    I predict many more jobs for BAe's PR subsidiary.

    'nuff said.

  16. Rich 3
    Thumb Down

    Special exception

    So does BaE Systems have a special exception?

  17. Anonymous Coward


    ...too late to halt Peter Mandelson's...<ahem> 'well thought out, and totally in the public interest' laws though.

  18. Davey1000

    Anti-Corruption Laws

    Surely all that the companies need to do is create a sister company in Bongo-Bongo land where bribe-taking is regarded as standard practice. Presumably because the dodgy deals are now done within Bongo-Bongo land the feds will be stuffed.

    Even within the UK people who place big orders will sometimes receive Christmas hampers for the next few years. The hampers were never asked for so how can this be corruption? In the British Civil Service any gift more valuable than a beer mat or a ball-pen is supposed to be declared but with private companies these rules do not apply. Level playing fields are a rare commodity.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    40% of UK businesses aren't prepared

    What ... exactly ... does that mean?

    Are they saying that 40% of UK business are currently engaged in bribary and would need to bring it to heel?

    I'd like a bit of a better interpretation of that, I think!!!

  20. Anonymous Coward

    They're not "donations"...

    they're "facilitation payments".

    My customer has a written policy that says I may offer a low-level official a nominal sum to expedite processes that said official would normally perform. They understand that, in the Middle East, you can't get £200,000 of kit through an airport intact in less than a week without a couple of hundred Dollars "falling" into the right slimy tw@t's pocket.

    I know I'm cynical but I'm seeing another law that's intended to be enforced selectively against anyone they don't have something on. I will be seeking guidance on whether I should use a new term for these payments or whether my expenses should suddenly start to feature expensive "taxi rides". It will be just like the using your phone while driving law. We will all get an email banning from doing it but the company vehicles won't have a car kit that fits my phone and the person who sent the email will be the first to scream and threaten me if I don't answer my phone in 10 seconds if he calls. If you do get caught it then falls on you.

    I've long thought "corrupt" countries are actually more honest; Everyone has equal access to bribery up to their means whereas in "honest" countries only the very rich can access bribery...err... I mean... political donations.

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