The British Are Coming!: Britain Changes Its Law on Foreign Bribery and Joins the International Fight against Corruption

Article excerpt

SUMMARY

INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................... 3

I. PASSING THE BRIBERY ACT AND CHANGING THE UNITED KINGDOM'S APPROACH TO ANTI-BRIBERY ENFORCEMENT .................................................. 4

II. A STATUTORY COMPARISON OF THE BRIBERY ACT AND THE FCPA .................. 7

A. The FCPA' s And- Bribery Provisions ........................................................... 8

1. The Provisions' Broad Reach .................................................................. 9

2. The Intent of the Payor .......................................................................... 10

3. The Violative Act ................................................................................... 11

4. The Recipient of the Bribe .................................................................... 11

5. The Bribe's Purpose ............................................................................... 12

6. The Role of Third Parties ...................................................................... 12

7. The Exception and Affirmative Defenses ........................................... 12

a. The Facilitating Payments Exception ............................................ 13

b. The Affirmative Defenses .............................................................. 14

B. Bribing Foreign Officials: A Comparison of the FCPA and the Bribery Act's Section 6 .................................................................................. 14

1. Section 6's Jurisdictional Reach ............................................................ 15

2. The Intent of the Payor (the "Fault Element") .................................. 16

3. The Actus Reus (the "Conduct Element") ......................................... 17

4. The Recipient of the Bribe .................................................................... 18

5. The Bribe's Purpose ............................................................................... 19

6. The Role of Third Parties ...................................................................... 20

7. Exceptions and Affirmative Defenses .................................................. 20

a. Facilitating Payments ...................................................................... 20

b. Payments Expressly Permitted by Written Law .......................... 21

c. Promotional Expenses .................................................................... 21

C. Sections 1 and 2 of the Bribery Act: The General Bribery Offenses ........ 23

1. The Elements of the General Bribery Offenses .................................. 23

2. Relevant Function or Activity ............................................................... 25

3. The Improper Performance Test .......................................................... 26

4. Other Provisions Relevant to Corporate Liability for the Bribery Offenses ................................................................................................... 27

D. The Bribery Act's Section 7 and the FCPA 's Accounting Provisions ...... 28

1 . Section 7's Prohibition on Failing to Prevent Bribery ........................ 28

2. Implications of the Accounting Provisions and the Bribery Act's "Adequate Procedures" Defense ......................................................... 31

3. The FCPA's Accounting Provisions ..................................................... 32

4. The U.K. Companies Act 2006 ............................................................. 35

E. Penalties ......................................................................................................... 35

F. How the Bribery Act May Affect Corporate Compliance Programs . …