The U.K. government has come under fire for delaying implementation of tough new anti-graft legislation that had been due to take effect this April. But construction and other industry sectors welcome the government’s recently announced review of guidelines on how the law will be applied. “We are working on the guidance to make it practical and comprehensive,” says a Ministry of Justice spokesman. He would not speculate as to when the new guidance would be released but says the law will take effect three months after that.
The Bribery Act, passed last year, makes it a corporate offense for a business to fail in preventing bribery by people working on its behalf anywhere in the world. While existing legislation imposes seven years of imprisonment for bribery, the new law would raise the penalty to 10 years. To avoid conviction, executives must show they have adequate procedures in place to prevent bribery.