Introduction to this document

Bribery report form

As part of your adequate procedures to prevent bribery, you should be actively encouraging staff to report any suspected incidents of bribery. Our bribery report form enables them to easily do this.

The corporate offence

Under the Bribery Act 2010, there’s a corporate criminal offence of failing to prevent bribery, which is committed where a person associated with the organisation bribes another person intending either to obtain or retain business, or to obtain or retain an advantage in the conduct of business, for that organisation. An “associated” person is defined as someone who performs services for or on behalf of the organisation and who is intending to obtain or retain business, or an advantage in the conduct of business, for the organisation. It includes employees, workers, agents and subsidiaries and could also include third parties such as contractors, consultants, distributors, suppliers, etc; whether a person is deemed to be acting for or on behalf of an organisation is a question of fact and will be dependent on the relevant circumstances.

The statutory defence

Failing to prevent bribery is a strict liability offence, subject only to the statutory “adequate procedures” defence. You may be able to rely on this if you can demonstrate that you put in place adequate procedures which were designed to prevent bribery, i.e. to prevent persons who perform services on your behalf from bribing. The government has produced detailed guidance about the procedures that commercial organisations can put in place to help prevent bribery and it includes six key principles that you should follow when devising bribery prevention procedures. As an absolute minimum, you should have an Anti-Bribery Policy, staff training and a rigorous compliance framework to promptly deal with any instances of bribery.

Reporting procedure

Our policy makes clear that employees and associated persons have a duty to take whatever reasonable steps are necessary both to comply with its terms and to prevent, detect and report any suspected bribery, with reports of suspected bribery to be made in accordance with the procedure set out in your Whistleblowing Policy. Our Bribery Report Form provides a clear and easy way for individuals to report suspected bribery and it follows the government’s guidance which states that you should consider establishing a “secure, confidential and accessible means for internal or external parties to raise concerns about bribery on the part of associated persons”. Our form asks the individual to include full details of the suspected bribery incident, including dates, times, locations, the parties involved and what the bribery was. It also asks them to provide the names of any other individuals who may have been involved, such as witnesses, and there’s a final box for any other relevant information. Normally, they would return the completed form to their line manager (or their company point of contact if they’re a contractor or agency worker), but there’s the option to return it to an alternative manager, which is useful if the line manager is alleged to be involved in the bribery. Once you’ve received the form, your anti-corruption officer (or your senior manager in charge of compliance) can then arrange an investigation into the reported concerns.