Charities and the Bribery Act 2010

The following Private Client practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Charities and the Bribery Act 2010
  • The offences
  • Bribing another person
  • Accepting a bribe
  • Bribing a foreign public official
  • Failure of commercial organisations to prevent bribery
  • Associated person
  • Facilitation payments
  • Adequate procedures
  • Proportionality
  • More...

Charities and the Bribery Act 2010

At first sight it may seem incongruous to link charities with bribery but all organisations, since the Bribery Act 2010 (BA 2010) was enacted (1 July 2011) have to be wary of not breaching its wide net.

Charities could be liable as BA 2–10 states that a relevant commercial organisation can commit an offence. A commercial organisation is defined (inter alia) as:

(a) a body which is incorporated under the law of any part of the United Kingdom and which carries on a business (whether there or elsewhere), (b) any other body corporate (wherever incorporated) which carries on a business, or part of a business, in any part of the United Kingdom … and, for the purposes of this section, a trade or profession is a business

It can be seen from this that many but not necessarily all, charities will fall into the definition. Strictly the legislation should only affect incorporated charities, but it could be argued that to promote best practice all charities should endeavour to comply with the anti bribery procedures. Having said that the key requirement is that the organisation has to be carrying on business and that will ultimately depend on a court's interpretation of this phrase in the context of the what each individual charity is doing.

Equally, although the legislation makes bribery a specific offence and

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