Anti-bribery—adequate procedures

The following Risk & Compliance practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Anti-bribery—adequate procedures
  • Regulatory requirements
  • The Law
  • Guidance
  • Assessing the risk of bribery
  • Who is responsible for anti-bribery procedures?
  • Key features of an anti-bribery policy
  • Top-level commitment
  • Indicators of bribery and corruption
  • Gifts and hospitality
  • More...

Anti-bribery—adequate procedures

It is an offence to pay or receive a bribe under the Bribery Act 2010 (BA 2010). Companies and partnerships will also commit an offence where a bribe is paid on their behalf. For further information, see Practice Notes: The Bribery Act 2010—an introductory guide and Failing to prevent bribery.

It is a defence to have adequate procedures in place to prevent bribery.

This Practice Note explains how to put such procedures in place.

Regulatory requirements

The Law

The law relating to bribery and corruption is found in BA 2010 (see: The Bribery Act 2010—an introductory guide).


The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has issued guidance on adequate procedures, as it is required to do under the BA 2010.

The guidance is intended to help organisations understand the types of procedures they can put in place to prevent bribery. It is formulated around six guiding principles, each followed by commentary and examples.

The guidance is not prescriptive and departures from the suggested procedures contained in the guidance will not of themselves give rise to a presumption that an organisation does not have adequate procedures.

Assessing the risk of bribery

You should consider which adequate procedures are appropriate for you. This will depend on the risks you face: the procedures should be proportionate to those risks.

You must first identify where you are most at risk of offering or accepting bribes by conducting a risk assessment

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