The Chartered Institute of Building has urged the UK Government has been urged not to dilute the Bribery Act, ahead of a consultation on the implementation legislation.
The CIOB has said that the Bribery Bill, which was passed by Parliament last year, was “landmark” legislation in making bribery illegal overseas.
It was expected that the Bribery Act itself would come into force in April, but the Ministry of Justice has confirmed that it will seek to make further improvement to the accompanying guidance, to make it more practical and comprehensive for business.
However, CIOB deputy chief executive Michael Brown said that implementation of the Act is “paramount for UK industry to maintain its reputation globally and to continue to set the highest benchmark of professionalism”.
“Getting the balance right between those high standards and legislation which doesn’t put UK business at a serious disadvantage is crucial,” he said.
“Bribery has no place in construction and actually takes money out of the industry. For any organisation not already in the mindset we strongly advise they formally develop an anti-bribery and corruption culture led by the boardroom, with senior staff responsible and accountable.”
The CIOB has recommended that organisations should review their internal policies ahead of the law coming into force, including issuing a clear statement of an anti-bribery and corruption culture, and the appointment of a senior officer with responsibility for an anti-bribery and corruption issues programme. Each organisation should also undertake a dedicated risk assessment, and implement financial controls and record keeping to minimise the risk of bribery, as well as training to all staff.
The CIOB is a member of the Anti Corruption Forum which is an alliance of UK business associations, professional institutions, civil society organisations and companies with interests in the domestic and international infrastructure, construction and engineering sectors. The Forum’s objective is to help create a business environment that is free from corruption.