British Standards Institution launches Bribery Act standard

The British Standards Institution (BSI) has launched a new specification for an anti-bribery management system, designed to help businesses reduce the risk of prosecutions under the Bribery Act 2010.

A commercial organisation commits a new offence under the Bribery Act 2010 if a person ‘associated’ with it bribes another person, intending to obtain or retain business, or an advantage in the conduct of business, for the commercial organisation. A person is associated with the organisation if it performs services for or on its behalf. In law a company or other entity is a ‘person’ – so an employee, a third party agent or, in some circumstances, a subsidiary company, of the organisation could fall within the definition.

The organisation has a defence if it can prove it has ‘adequate procedures’ designed to prevent associated persons committing bribery

The British Standards Institution (BSI) has launched a new standard ‘BS10500 – Specification for an anti-bribery management system (ABMS)’ to help organisations show “both internally and to external stakeholders that you have robust anti-bribery practices in place and that they are being implemented adequately”. It is available on their website for £130, or £65 to BSI members.

The standard is intended for organisations of all sizes and sectors, although the BSI says it will be particularly useful for those in construction, oil, gas, mining and utilities, where the risk to organisations is higher.