Over the past ten years, several nations have either passed new anti-corruption laws or reinforced older ones. The FCPA (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) in the United States and the UK Bribery Act of 2010 in the United Kingdom are the most noteworthy among them.
As governments have expanded their scrutiny of corporate business activities, there have been a number of noteworthy convictions under these statutes in recent years.
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)
The FCPA is relevant to:
- Residents and citizens of the US
- American businesses and organisations
- foreign firms or individuals conducting business within the United States
The FCPA strictly prohibits corrupt payments made through middlemen. Making such a contribution to a third party while knowing that some or all of it will go directly or indirectly to a foreign official is prohibited by the statute. Joint venture partners or agents are examples of intermediaries.
The anti-bribery regulations were designed to be utilised in conjunction with the accounting provisions of the FCPA. According to these regulations, corporations must:
- Create and maintain accurate books and records of the company’s dealings.
- Create and uphold reliable internal accounting controls.
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) of 1977 was developed to enact harsher laws against bribery. The SEC Act’s transparency requirements for accounting are also included in the act.
According to the FCPA, it is unlawful for a US citizen, US corporation, or US person or corporation acting domestically to bribe or gain an advantage from a foreign public official.
UK Bribery Act, 2010
According to the Act, it is illegal to bribe someone else, accept bribes, bribe a foreign official, and, in the case of commercial companies, fail to take anti-bribery measures.
The UK Bribery Act of 2010 is applicable to any for-profit business that:
- Any entity or partnership that was created in the UK regardless of where it conducts business or is incorporated,
- A partnership or incorporated entity that operates a business or a portion of one in the UK regardless of where it was founded or incorporated,
Any foreign corporation conducting business in the UK is thus protected by this statute. Companies that are solely listed and traded on the London Stock Exchange would not be subject to the purview of the Act since they are not deemed to be “moving a business or fragment of a business in the UK.”
As Stated in the Act, a Bribe is-
Giving someone a benefit financially or otherwise is defined as “encouraging someone to carry out their functions or activities in a dishonest manner or rewarding someone for already doing so.”
Bribes are payments made to authorities to facilitate their performance of ordinary tasks that they are legally required to complete. The Act considers it unlawful to directly or indirectly bribe foreign officials.
Types of prosecutions under the 2010 UK Bribery Act:
- Offenses Related to General Bribery
- Bribing of international public officials
- Commercial Organizations’ Failure to Prevent Bribery
- Penalties and Prosecutions
- Other Offense-Related Provisions
- Addendum and Concluding Rules