Q&As

If a company self-reports a corrupt transaction but withholds details of other incidences of bribery, will the SFO give them the benefit of having self reported?

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Published on LexisPSL on 27/11/2013

The following Corporate Crime Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • If a company self-reports a corrupt transaction but withholds details of other incidences of bribery, will the SFO give them the benefit of having self reported?

Commercial organisations which have identified involvement in corruption, whether directly or by an associated person, should seek expert advice before contacting the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) with a view to self reporting, both for advice about conducting an internal investigation and in respect of the consequences of so doing. In particular, any outcome which involves criminal proceedings is likely to be open to active judicial intervention.

The Bribery Act 2010 (BA 2010) does not impose a specific duty on a Relevant Commercial Organisation (RCO) to report actual or suspected bribery. However, RCOs will, in that event, wish to consider whether they should do so; the designated organisation to report to is the SFO. RCOs should also consider whether particular cases require reporting separately under section 330 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA 2002) or the Money Laundering Regulations 2007, SI 2007/2157 (MLR 2007). Self-reporting may mean that an organisation is able to make representations as to the public interest in a non-criminal outcome (such as a civil recovery order under POCA 2002, Part 5), rather than suffer a criminal prosecution.

In relation to overseas

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