On 1st July 2011, The Bribery Act 2010 came into force in the UK. The Act introduced the offence of commercial organisations failing to prevent bribery (Section 7). The only defence to the offence is to show that "adequate procedures" are in place to prevent bribery (Section 7.2).
Shortly before the introduction of the Act the Government published its Adequate Procedures Guidance. The Guidance set out six procedural principles required to prevent bribery and the need for whistleblowing procedures featured in three of the principles.
Proportionate Procedures includes the need for 'speak up' or 'whistleblowing' procedures.
Top level commitment includes protection and procedures for whistleblowing.
Communication includes establishing secure, confidential, accessible whistleblowing procedures for internal or external parties and protection for those reporting concerns.
Safecall fulfils the requirement to have effective whistleblowing procedures in place in compliance with the Act. In addition, we have developed software, to work alongside our reporting service to enable client staff to report or seek advice on the offer or receipt of corporate gifts and hospitality.
Transparency International is a global organisation in the fight against corruption and it advised the Government on the Act and has published its own good practice guidance on adequate procedures.
The benefits of using an independent system are highlighted on page 56 of the Transparency International guidance as follows: - "It could be decided that greater confidence would be provided to employees if the whistleblowing channel were to be provided by an independent provider appointed by the company".
Transparency International’s guidance to the UK Bribery Act is available at: http://www.transparency.org.uk/our-work/publications/10-publications/95-adequate-procedures-guidance-to-the-uk-bribery-act-2010