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Bribery Proposals

by msecadm4921

Proposals to reform the law on bribery at home and abroad have been set out by the Government.

Home Office Minister Fiona Mactaggart published a consultation on bribery.
The proposals set out a number of options, including

creating three new criminal offences of corruptly conferring an advantage, corruptly obtaining an advantage and performing functions corruptly; and

separating bribery and corruption offences depending on whether the attempt is to bribe or corrupt an individual in the public or private sector.

The proposals also seek views on whether to give the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) powers to investigate earlier when bribery by UK firms overseas is alleged.

What they say

Fiona Mactaggart said: "Although the crime of bribery remains relatively rare in the UK, it is vital that we, through our actions and principles, remain vigilant and promote high standards of propriety at home and abroad. That is why in 2001 we gave UK courts the power to investigate bribery overseas. But the existing law on bribery is complex and outdated, and can be difficult for law enforcers to use. I want to make the law clearer for all concerned.

"Our aim is to raise standards and improve corporate practice, in the UK and overseas. We want to work with anti-corruption groups and British businesses to create an effective set of laws which punish who break the law but do not create a burden on law-abiding firms."

The criminal offences of bribery stem from the common law and the Prevention of Corruption Acts 1889-1916 and are widely considered to be fragmented, outdated and unclear, the Home Office says.

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