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Volume 688: debated on Tuesday 16 January 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What are the reasons for the continuing delay in introducing a Corruption Bill. [HL988]

The Government are committed to reforming the law of corruption. Our aim is to replace the existing provisions, which are spread across a number of statutes and the common law, with effective up-to-date bribery offences which command wide consensus and are easy to understand but sophisticated enough to differentiate between bribery and the legitimate giving and receiving of advantages.

In 2003, based on work undertaken by the Law Commission, we introduced a draft Bill for pre-legislative scrutiny. The Joint Committee which gave the Bill its pre-legislative scrutiny raised significant issues and recommended a different approach to the formulation of the offences.

We looked very carefully at the Joint Committee's recommendations. Following our response to its report in December 2003, we published a consultation paper in December 2005 setting out further options for reform. We are currently finalising the Government's response to all the comments received and will publish this shortly.