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Premex regularly discusses issues of concern to our customers and rarely has a piece of legislation caused so much head scratching as the Bribery Act 2010. To help you understand what this could mean for your business, Premextra has a few handy tips right here.

The very nature of business relationships has come under the spotlight after the Bribery Act 2010 came into force on 1 July 2011.

New criminal offences have been introduced and for many businesses there has been confusion about what may or may not be caught by the legislation. Premex Services' Managing Director Donald Fowler explains: "We've had conversations with a number of customers over the past few months about this new law. We thought it would be worthwhile providing some expert advice here in Premextra."

Kevin Howells is investigations manager at Manchester-based BTG Global Risk Partners and he gave us some exclusive tips on how businesses should position themselves.

 "The criminal offences created are Active Bribery; Passive Bribery and Bribery of foreign and public officials," says Kevin. "While many businesses wonder if this type of legislation could ever impact them, now would be a good time to get your ducks in a row,"

"In addition to these offences, it is also an offence for an organisation to fail to prevent bribery," says Kevin. "As such, if an individual within the company commits any of the offences above, it is likely that the company will also commit this additional corporate offence, except where the company is able to prove that it had adequate procedures in place to prevent bribery."

A significant amount of resources and information are available to businesses looking for help in implementing their own procedures so that they don't fall foul of the Act. But just to review, Kevin suggests firms follow these five recommendations: 

Bribery Act 2010 Top 5 tips

1 - Put a bribery policy in place and actively train your staff in anti-bribery measures. Be able to prove that they have been trained.

2 - Review your gifts and hospitality process so that it is bribery compliant. This does not mean stopping corporate hospitality, just anything unsuitable.

3 - Review the documentation you use for appointing introducers, contractors, agents and other third parties. This needs to be Bribery compliant, as their actions count as yours if they commit any Bribery Act offences.

4 - Review where you carry out business. See this map showing global corruption perception.

5 - Revise your recruitment policy, to ensure that the area of offering employment, employment secondments and work experience is not used inappropriately.

At Premex we take a zero-tolerance approach to bribery and corruption and are committed to acting professionally, fairly and with integrity in all our business dealings and relationships. Please  click here to read our  Anti-corruption and bribery policy sets our responsibilities and provides information and guidance to those working with and for us.