On 20 July I announced my intention to conduct a public consultation on the form and content of guidance to be published under section 9 of the Bribery Act before it comes into force in April 2011. I am pleased to announce that this public consultation commences today with the publication by the Ministry of Justice of a consultation paper “Consultation on guidance about commercial organisations preventing bribery (section 9 of the Bribery Act 2010)”.
This consultation paper seeks views on draft guidance about procedures that commercial organisations can put in place to prevent persons associated with them from bribing. The draft guidance proposes six general principles that are designed to be applicable across all sectors and for all types and size of business. It is intended that these general principles will aid businesses to formulate procedures appropriate to their particular circumstances should they choose to do so.
As I made clear in my statement of 20 July, Official Report, columns 11-12WS, our concern is that the formulation of the guidance to be published under section 9 is informed by the wealth of expertise currently available. To that end we are also holding a number of open discussion forums in all parts of the United Kingdom during the consultation period to further encourage the sharing of views on what is being proposed.
Copies of the consultation paper have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses, and are available from today on the Ministry of Justice website
along with further details on how to respond and on the open discussion forums referred to above. I believe that this consultation will provide the basis for the publication of effective but flexible guidance on bribery prevention for commercial organisations seeking to ensure that they conduct business competitively while maintaining high standards of integrity and transparency.