Facebook  Twitter  Youtube  ISSUU  RSS  Email

Media Contacts

UK
Dominic Kavakeb
dominic.kavakeb@transparency.org.uk
+ 44 (0)20 3096 7695
Out of hours: Weekends; Weekdays (17.30-21.30): +44 (0)79 6456 0340


Twitter

TransparencyUK RT @MaggieMrphy: So we agree corruption is a UK issue, so why are all the deadlines slipping? Recommended read from @rose_zussman https://…
14mreplyretweetfavorite
TransparencyUK As we leave the EU, we can’t leave our defences against corruption behind! @rose_zussman writes in @raconteur https://t.co/vrtt9D9ZGo
2hreplyretweetfavorite
TransparencyUK RT @duncanhames: New @bellingcat analysis finds SLPs (UK's home-grown secrecy vehicle) used by more people in Russia+Ukraine than UK. https…

Tag Cloud

Allegations anti-bribery anti-corruption summit anti money laundering bribery BSkyB Cabinet Office Chart companies conflict Corporate Cooperation corrupt capital Corruption corruption in the uk employment film financial secrecy Governance Government health Home Office illicit enrichment intern journalists Letter Leveson Inquiry London Merkel money laundering offshore tax open governance pharmaceuticals PHP Prime Minister Register of Interests Research Resources Social Accountability statement Trustees UK Unexplained Wealth Orders unmask the corrupt UWO vacancies

Stay Informed

Sign up for updates on TI-UK's work & corruption news from around the globe.

Why we need the Bribery Act

Written by Rachel Davies on Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Tetraethyl lead – a compound used in leaded petrol – was a major source of income for the international chemical firm, Innospec before corruption-resources-corruption-resources-health and environmental concerns led to its abolishment in the US and Europe more than ten years ago.


Tetraethyl lead – a compound used in leaded petrol – was a major source of income for the international chemical firm, Innospec, before corruption-resources-corruption-resources-health and environmental concerns led to its abolishment in the US and Europe more than ten years ago.

The poisonous chemical – which has been proven to stunt the mental development of children – was also on schedule to be phased out in Indonesia in the late nineties. In order to avoid further financial loss, Innospec’s UK branch bribed Indonesian officials to ensure that the ban was blocked. It is estimated that the company made £505 million as a result of the deal. As I read the details of this case this morning I have to admit my shock that a British based branch would undertake a venture that was so obviously damaging to people who had no say in the transaction.

The Bribery Act comes into force tomorrow modifying UK bribery laws dating back to 1889. Among four new offences being introduced is the crime of bribing a foreign public official. While many British companies are not involved in corrupt practices it is a sad reality that some have used bribery to obtain contracts overseas and increase their own revenue.

The Act has certainly been controversial with some opponents stating that it has not received enough time for consultation and analysis. However, the proposed law underwent four separate periods of consultation to which civil society and resources-resources-business were all engaged. It is rare that British legislation receives as much scrutiny as has been afforded to this Act.

There is also concern that implementation of the Act will result in all forms of corporate hospitality being targeted. It is important to note that much corporate hospitality is legitimate and not intended to bribe. Section 7 of the Ministry of Justice official guidance to the legislation adequately covers this in some detail.

Bribery and corruption impact upon the poorest hardest. The implications of the Bribery Act on payments abroad have caused some concern, but currently the people who are most affected by bribery do not have the option of walking away. They are the ones who must live in a society where corruption is further entrenched by bribery payments from western companies. The Government must ensure that implementation of the Act leads to prosecution of serious and complex cases of bribery while levelling the playing field for responsible UK resources-resources-businesses. Bribery is not a crime without victims, and it is my hope that the UK Government will implement robust enforcement of the Act to protect those who need it most.

5044

Read 5044 times Last modified on Tuesday, 24 November 2015 11:47
mm

Rachel Davies

Rachel is the Head of UK Advocacy at TI-UK. You can tweet her @rachelcerysd.

Leave a Reply

Contact Us | Sitemap | Privacy

UK Charity Number 1112842

Transparency International UK is a chapter of