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U.S. Execs Lack Bribery Act Knowledge

Neil Baker | April 21, 2011

Three quarters of U.S. business professionals do not know enough about Britain's tough new anti-bribery laws, even though they take effect in less than three months, according to a survey from Deloitte.

The firm said the Bribery Act was likely to be the biggest regulatory change in global anti-corruption law since the U.S. Patriot Act in 2001.

Joe Zier, a Deloitte expert on the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), said some companies had begun work early to prepare for Bribery Act compliance, but 73 percent of business people polled by the firm were not familiar with its provisions.

The U.K. law includes six principles for anti-bribery efforts; those covering risk assessment and due diligence would be the hardest to deal with, Zier predicted. “Companies need to be vigilant of where their potential risks lie and investigate them fully to identify new exposures,” he said. Work was needed “to ensure that ‘business as usual' today isn't a U.K. Bribery Act violation in July.”

The firm surveyed more than 1,000 business professionals from across industry sectors during a Webcast about FCPA compliance.