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New Bribery Act will help restore UK’s international reputation

As the Bribery Bill passed through parliament today and is now due to receive Royal Assent, Chandrashekhar Krishnan, Executive Director of Transparency International UK said:

“We congratulate the Government for fulfilling its commitment to modernise UK bribery law in this Parliament and applaud the all-party consensus that has made this legislation possible. For twelve long years Transparency International UK has been calling for modern, effective anti-bribery legislation. The new Bribery Act is fit for purpose and will ensure the UK is compliant with the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention. It will also give UK law enforcement a sound legal framework to prosecute offenders.

“This Act sends out a strong message to UK plc and the rest of world – the UK will not tolerate bribery. Ethical practices must be firmly embedded in all echelons of business. The era of ‘business as usual’ is over.

“Corruption disproportionately affects the poor and is a persistent threat to development and democracy. The UK will now have greater credibility in encouraging good governance in countries that receive UK aid and in persuading major emerging economies to stop their own companies paying bribes”.

Transparency International UK congratulates all the major political parties for their resolve to pass this historic and long overdue legislation. One further step remains to be taken - the bribery offences in the Act will only come into effect after the Government issues guidance on adequate procedures for companies to prevent bribery. Transparency International UK urges the incoming government after the general election to ensure that the guidance is issued in sufficient time that the offences will take effect in October 2010.

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