Bribery Act guide released

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  • Attorney-General Trevor Moniz (File photograph)

    Attorney-General Trevor Moniz (File photograph)

A guide to Bermuda’s new bribery legislation has been put together for commercial organisations.

Attorney-General Trevor Moniz issued the document so that companies can put procedures in place to “prevent persons associated with them from bribing”, according to a Bermuda Government press release.

The Bribery Act, which will come into force on September 1, creates offences of offering or receiving bribes, of bribery of foreign public officials and of failure to prevent a bribe being paid on an organisation’s behalf.

In his foreword in the guidance, Mr Moniz wrote: “The twin scourges of bribery and corruption must be stamped out. In addition to individuals and businesses who suffer directly, there is a well-documented, corrosive effect on democracy and the rule of law.

“Taxpayers are defrauded, honest businesses suffer from unfair competition and a society’s economic and social development is undermined. That bribery and corruption are morally repugnant should be self-evident to any right-thinking member of society.”

He said the new law will provide a “modern and comprehensive scheme of bribery offences”, to help investigators, prosecutors and the courts tackle bribery effectively in Bermuda and overseas.

Existing corruption offences focus solely on recipients of the bribes, the One Bermuda Alliance MP said.

Community leaders need to match anti-corruption rhetoric with deeds and robust support, he continued.

“It requires public servants and businesses to take timely action when relevant information comes to their attention. It requires us to overcome a reluctance in the community to deal with these difficult issues.

“It is not enough to say that we are against corruption. We need to take action — to improve things going forward, to punish past wrongdoing and to ensure that victims of corruption can seek recompense through established procedures.

“The Act creates offences of offering or receiving bribes, of bribery of foreign public officials and of failure to prevent a bribe being paid on an organisation’s behalf. These are certainly tough rules.

“But readers should understand too that they are directed at making life difficult for the mavericks responsible for corruption, not unduly burdening the vast majority of decent, law-abiding firms.

“I am publishing this guidance to help organisations understand the legislation and deal with the risks of bribery. My aim is that it offers clarity on how the law will operate.”

• To read the Bribery Act guidance, click on the PDF under “Related Media”

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Published Jun 8, 2017 at 11:59 am (Updated Jun 8, 2017 at 12:01 pm)

Bribery Act guide released

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