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Volume 406: debated on Friday 23 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what guidelines the Foreign and Commonwealth Office issues to staff based overseas on reporting allegations of corruption by British companies; and if he will make a statement. [115147]

Crown Servants and locally engaged employees in British Diplomatic posts overseas who, in the course of their duties, become aware of, or receive information relating to, acts of bribery or corruption committed by UK nationals or legal persons are obliged to report the matter, so that the appropriate UK authorities can decide whether to pursue an investigation or prosecution.Staff at home and overseas have been advised of the changes to UK law introduced from 14 February 2002 by the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001, and of their reporting responsibility. This is further emphasised through training of staff engaged in trade and investment work.