The Corporate Offence
An offence is committed by a commercial organisation when:
- A person "associated" with the commercial organisation (i.e. performs services for it) bribes another person (within the meaning of sections 1 and 6);
- The bribe is intended to obtain or retain business for the commercial organisation or retain an advantage in the conduct of the organisation's business.
Importantly, it is a defence for the commercial organisation to show that it had adequate procedures in place to prevent bribery being committed by those associated with it.
It has recently been announced that the SFO is considering extending this offence to include acts of financial crime by a person associated with a commercial organisation. As at February 2014, no draft provisions have been published. More information can be by found here.
For a more detailed analysis of the question of whether a foreign parent company can be liable for the activities of a UK or foreign subsidiary click here.