The new Bribery Act came into force on 1 July 2011 and applies to corporate bodies and partnerships operating under UK Law or which carry on business in the UK.
It therefore applies to the University of Dundee. See also: Anti-Bribery Policy
What is it?
The Act creates 4 offences:
- promising or offering a bribe;
- requesting, agreeing to or accepting a bribe;
- bribing a foreign public official; and
- a corporate offence of failure to prevent bribery by persons associated with an organisation.
What is the University's response?
In response to the Act, the University Court, at its meeting on 26 April 2011, approved an Anti-Bribery Policy.
In summary, the statement:
- emphasises the University's commitment to honesty and integrity;
- condemns all acts of bribery and corruption;
- sets out the responsibilities of all members of staff, students and any other persons performing a service for or otherwise representing the University
- sets out the extent and applicability of the statement; and
- makes clear that the perpetration of bribery may constitute gross misconduct.
A number of awareness raising sessions are planned over the next year to support staff in familiarising themselves with their individual responsibilities and the consequences for them and the University created by the introduction of the legislation. The University also has a responsibility to ensure broad compliance with the legal requirements and will therefore carry out audit and monitoring from time to time.
What are our individual responsibilities?
Staff, students and others working for or on behalf of the University have a responsibility to:
- act at all times with propriety, and in particular in relation to the use of public funds;
- conduct themselves with integrity, objectivity, openness, honesty and leadership (in accordance with the principles identified by the Committee on Standards in Public Life);
- be alert to the possibility of bribery;
- report any suspect behaviour promptly (see the Whistleblowing Policy); and
- co-operate with those conducting associated investigations;
What are the risk areas?
The larger an institution and the further its global reach, then the greater the risk under the new bribery legislation. However the Bribery Act focuses on 'proportionality' and consequently the University has identified the following as potential risk areas. Staff should of course be vigilant at all times to the possibility of bribery and corruption.
- accepting or offering gifts or hospitality (see the Gifts & Hospitality Policy webpages);
- student and staff recruitment;
- visits abroad, particularly to countries where bribery and corruption are known to take place;
- procurement of goods and services for the University;
- negotiation of contracts, collaborative agreements or other (quasi-)commercial relationships.
Other relevant University policies
- Gifts & Hospitality Policy
- Whistleblowing Policy (Public Interest Disclosure)
- Financial Regulations
- Fraud - Prevention and Investigation
Please be alert to a series of frequently asked questions which over time will be added to these webpages.
In Scotland, the Crown Office and the Procurator Fiscal Service have issued guidance to enable institutions to self report instances of corruption for the possibility of more lenient treatment. Penalties on conviction are ten years maximum in prison or an unlimited fine.
In the meantime questions about the implications of the Anti-Bribery Policy Statement and the Bribery Act itself should be directed to:
- Dr Neale Laker, Director of Policy, Governance & Legal Affairs (firstname.lastname@example.org, or x85104)
- Mr Umran Sarwar, Director of Legal (email@example.com, x85340)