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Sir Robert Walpole, the country's first PM—the 'first of the big Whigs'—is often quoted as saying:
Every man has his price
Unfortunately for him, he followed his own maxim, was found guilty of corruption in 1712 and ended up (temporarily) imprisoned in the Tower of London.
302 years later, I suspect that he'd be less concerned who'd be powdering his wigs in his absence and more concerned (I'd hope) about the Bribery Act 2010. It is half a decade since the Act received Royal Assent and the issue of bribery and corruption is continuing to challenge many businesses.
Here's a round up of recent developments:
New rules came into force on 1 December 2014 for businesses in the extractive industries (such as oil, gas, quarrying and logging). Under these new regulations companies in these areas will need to make a public report on how much money they pay to foreign governments.
To this end, on 25 November, draft guidance was published (for background, see also the government response to the consultation on ‘Reporting Payments to Governments’).
Views are sought on this draft to ensure that their interpretation meets the requirements of the EU Accounting Directive and UK regulations. Interested parties need to let the government have their feedback by 17 December.
For more information on these regulations, check out the post from Cordery: New UK Law for extractive industries.
Corruption Perceptions Index 2014 out
Yesterday, the non-governmental organisation, Transparency International (TI), published its latest Corruption Perceptions Index. The index ranks countries and territories based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be. It is used by many law firms and businesses when undertaking anti-money laundering checks ('How dodgy is country [x]? Do we need to do more checks on company [Y]?').
According to the index, the UK now ranks 14th, with Denmark taking top spot (least corrupt) with Somalia and North Korea coming in at a lowly 174th (most corrupt).
In terms of the UK, the NGO states:
We ... welcome the gradual progress made by the UK in the last few ye
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