SFO chief denies Bribery Act not working
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5th November 2013 by
In a speech recently, the head of the Serious Fraud Office
denied that the lack of prosecutions under the Bribery Act shows that
the legislation is not working.
David Green, director general of the SFO, said that there are
a number of cases in the pipeline and he would bring “the right cases
at the time that is right for us.”
Under the Bribery Act 2011, the SFO was given major new
anti-bribery powers in a crackdown on companies involved in bribery. It
led to concerns that the agency would scrutinise companies’ compliance
with rules concerning corporate hospitality and facilitation payments
in particular, but to date there have been no prosecutions.
“To those who are impatient for the first
prosecution under the Bribery Act…watch this space,” Mr Green said. He
also criticised his predecessor, saying that the guidance he had
inherited “contained an implied presumption that self-reported
misconduct would be dealt with by civil settlement rather than
prosecution.” Whereas he feels that “no prosecutor should appear to
offer such a guarantee in advance."
Mr Green also encouraged companies to ‘self-report’ internal
criminality, or risk corporate charges, despite the perceived
difficulties in bringing such cases. He highlighted section seven of
the Bribery Act (which permits a corporate offence where a company
fails to prevent bribery by its employees) as one way to overcome such
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2013-11-11 11:06:43 in Legal Articles