The House of Lords has today appointed an ad hoc Select Committee to consider and report on the Bribery Act 2010. The Committee will be taking evidence throughout the summer and autumn, and will be reporting in 2019.
The Bribery Act 2010 created two basic crimes of giving and receiving bribes, and covers a number of new issues for example the crime of bribery of foreign public officials. Before the 2010 Act the law of bribery had not been substantially changed for nearly a century. The Act also created the important new offence of failure by a commercial organisation to have in place adequate procedures to prevent persons associated with them from undertaking bribery.
The Act applies only to conduct after its entry into force on 1 July 2011. Although there are still prosecutions under the earlier legislation for conduct prior to July 2011, nearly all corrupt conduct is now prosecuted under the Bribery Act.
The Chairman of the Committee, Lord Saville of Newdigate, said:
“Seven years since it came into force, and with the majority of bribery cases being prosecuted under the Bribery Act 2010, now is the opportune time for post-legislative scrutiny. The Committee will examine the effectiveness of the Act, whether there has been stricter prosecution of corrupt conduct, a higher conviction rate, and a reduction in such conduct.
“There is confusion and uncertainty about the Act, amongst SMEs in particular. The inquiry would seek to raise awareness and understanding of the Act.
“The Committee will be publishing a call for evidence in June, and will welcome submissions from any person, organisation or business with experience of the Bribery Act 2010. We urge any interested parties to contribute to the inquiry. Evidence sessions are expected to begin ahead of summer recess.”