The UK Bribery Act became law on 1 July 2011. The aim of the Act is to assist regulators and prosecuting authorities in their investigations of allegations of corruption both in the UK and overseas. Accordingly, within the current climate of increased scrutiny and regulation, the emphasis of the Act requires organisations to establish effective governance and compliance programmes not only in relation to their own business but also with regards to agents and other third parties acting on their behalf.
While the impetus for the Bribery Act 2010 was a number of instances of bribery within large multi-national companies, the Act extends well beyond this and introduces a stricter definition of what bribery is. Further details of the offences created under the act, the penalties and the procedures required for defence against bribery may be found in the external guidance available here.
Although the Act is focussed on commercial organisations and the University’s status is that of an exempt charity, the Act will apply to higher education institutions. The Act will apply to the University and its employees, its subsidiary organisations and third party organisations contracted to undertake services on its behalf - anyone acting on behalf of the University. The Act is more stringent than the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) as it applies to both public and private sectors and the definition of a bribe is given a very wide definition to include facilitation (or grease) payments and some forms of hospitality and charitable and political donations.
This course provides a general overview of the concept of bribery, the Bribery Act 2010 and links to related University policies. Using a number of case studies it aims to improve awareness of the topic, to ensure that members of the University or related third parties, can abide by the University’s policies across the range of its activities and ensure transparency and openness in their dealings on its behalf.
Completion of the course is recommended for Warwick staff and all those third parties acting on its behalf, including (but not exclusively) agents, consultants, contractors, suppliers, subsidiaries and joint venture partners, wherever they may be located. The course can also be made available to students, as the anti-bribery policy will be relevant to them when they are acting on behalf of the University, either in a paid or voluntary role.