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Council welcomes Bribery Act

Bedford Borough Council’s Executive approved a report detailing the Council’s preparations for the Bribery Act, which came into force on 1st July 2011.

The Bribery Act (2010) amends the law against corruption by introducing new offences relating to bribery.

Councillor Colleen Atkins, Portfolio Holder for Performance and External Relations, said: “The Bribery Act amends the law against corruption and it was essential for the Council to be fully prepared for the changes, both from a legal perspective as well as demonstrating to local residents that the Council takes bribery and other dishonest behaviour extremely seriously and does not tolerate it in any way.

“I am pleased we were able to take action ahead of the Act’s introduction.”

The Bribery Act introduces four new offences:

• Bribing another person
• Receiving a bribe
• Bribery of a foreign official
• Failure of commercial organisation to prevent bribery

The Government has produced Guidance to help commercial organisations comply with the Bribery Act responsibilities. While the Council is not a “commercial organisation” for its normal local authority purposes it is still helpful for it to have regard to the principles within the Guidance for all purposes as though it was a commercial organisation.

The 2010 Act, which came into force on 1st July 2011, amends the law against corruption which dates back to the Public Bodies Corrupt Practices Act 1889.

Further information can be found here: http://www.councillorsupport.bedford.gov.uk/documents/s14485/Item%2012%20The%20Bribery%20Act%202010.pdf

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