The Bribery Act has now been in force for four years. Prosecutions have been limited, but as previous blogs have stated, this is not the whole story.
The survey suggests that, despite considerable publicity, many small and medium sized businesses were at risk of committing an offence under section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010.
From the executive summary:
- Only two thirds of the SMEs surveyed had actually heard of the Bribery Act, or were aware of corporate liability for failing to prevent bribery.
- Of those who had heard of the Bribery Act, 80% were aware of extra-territorial jurisdiction.
- Three quarters of the SMEs aware of the Bribery Act were not aware of the MOJ Guidance published in March 2011 (giving lengthy guidance on adequate procedures).
- Only one third of those surveyed had conducted a risk assessment concerning being asked for a bribe.
- Only 42% had put bribery prevention procedures in place.
- Even amongst those exporting to less developed regions, only 45% had bribery prevention procedures in place.
- 6% of SMEs reported their employees or agents had been asked for cash payments, gifts or other goods that might be deemed a “bribe”.