02 February 2015

The UK Anti-Corruption Plan

The UK Anti-Corruption Plan, published on 18 December 2014 by HM Government is both thorough and ambitious. If even half the action points (there are 66) are implemented all UK companies, partnerships and organisations should digest the Plan as soon as possible. A similar UK Anti-Money Laundering Plan is  due to follow. The main “highlights” are;

  1. No. 6 – creating a new single reporting mechanism for Anti-Bribery and Corruption by July 2015
  2. No. 8 – Home Office/BIS to consider what more can be done to “Incentivise and support” whistle blowers. Note, the US Dodd-Frank Act allows for up to 30% of the total monetary sanction to be paid to the whistleblower.
  3. No. 22/23 – European Public Procurement Directives – updates the grounds for mandatory/discretionary exclusion - implementation/planned transposition into English law in the first quarter of 2015 with a register of Excluded Suppliers being considered to be introduced by August 2015
  4. No. 36 – The Ministry of Justice is considering a new criminal offence of  “corporate failure to prevent economic crime” – establishing corporate criminal liability more widely – by June 2015 (replacing the Identification Doctrine where, save for Bribery and Corruption and  s.7 UKBA which introduced the concept of corporate failure or vicarious liability and the defence of adequate procedures, the prosecution had to establish that the directing minds of the company were involved in the criminal acts)
  5. No. 37 – a new central bribery and corruption unit within NCA – potentially removing some of the workload from the Serious Fraud Office
  6. No. 38 – National Crime Agency (NCA): implement a programme to improve the recruitment and retention of specialists to support compliance investigations
  7. No. 42 – The Treasury/Home Office to complete a National Risk Assessment on Money Laundering & Terrorist Financing (by early 2015) with no. 43 – an Anti-Money Laundering Plan subsequently issued
  8. No. 45 – Home Office to review the (AML) Suspicious Activity Regime to better identify money laundering and improve quality and timeliness of reporting money laundering
  9. Nos. 46/47 – Home Office: The Proceeds of Crime Act to be amended to enhance investigative powers and to change the legal test for a criminal “restraint order” from “reasonable grounds” to “suspicion” in both domestic/international cases making it much easier for the criminal authorities to restrain what it suspects to be criminal assets at the beginning of an investigation
  10. No. 50 – BIS: implement a central register (at Companies House) of UK Company beneficial ownership – with criminal penalties where companies fail to provide such/false information
  11. No. 53/54 – NCA: to drive corrupt legal/financial professionals out of the system  with a Serious Crime Bill drafted including, amongst other things, an offence of participation in activities of an Organised Crime Group (with a maximum 5 years sentence)
  12. No. 64 – UK to produce its first Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative report by April 2016 and has implemented the EU Accountancy Directive which provides that extractive companies will be required to report on payments made to Governments (in excess of £86,000 in any one year) from 1 January 2015
  13. No. 65 – the Cabinet Office is to establish cross-departmental unit on international corruption – providing support to the Government Anti-Corruption Tsar from December 2014.

Incentivising whistle blowers, requiring UK companies to give details of their ultimate beneficial owners by registering details at Companies House and, extending potential corporate liability (where the only defence would be the implementation of adequate procedures) for all forms of economic crime which could include; fraud, conspiracy to defraud, cheating the Revenue, evasion of Duty/VAT, corruption, sanctions abuses, money laundering, and  theft of data and confidential information could have a dramatic impact upon conducting business in the UK.

A great deal of detail lies beneath these headlines and we are very happy to assist you to understand the ramifications of these actions. 

Key contacts

Belt and Road Hub

We explore the opportunities the Belt and Road Initiative brings for your business, and provide our comprehensive, professional services to help.

Belt and Road

A Guide to Doing Business in China

We explore the key issues being considered by clients looking to unlock investment opportunities in the People’s Republic of China.

Doing Business in China
Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
    You might also be interested in

    It’s official. On 5 March 2021 the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced that all LIBOR settings will either cease to be published by any administrator or no longer be representative, with...

    09 March 2021

    Keepwell deeds, also known as letters of comfort, are a credit protection tool commonly used by Chinese companies issuing debt offshore.

    23 February 2021

    This article was written by Patric McGonigal and Ramon Garcia-Gallardo. At a virtual ceremony on 11 June 2020, Singapore's Minister for Home Affairs and Law, K Shanmugam SC and the President of the...

    22 June 2020

    The UK officially left the European Union (“EU”) at 11pm on 31 January 2020

    20 February 2020

    Legal services for your business

    This site uses cookies to enhance your experience and to help us improve the site. Please see our Privacy Policy for further information. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive these cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time.

    For more information on which cookies we use then please refer to our Cookie Policy.