A year after UK Bribery Act 2010 - How does translation play a role?

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http://www.merrillbrink.com -- The UK Bribery Act has been viewed by many, since its introduction on 1 July 2011, as the “gold standard” for anti-corruption legislation.

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A year after UK Bribery Act 2010 - How does translation play a role?

The UK Bribery Act has been viewed by many, since its introduction on 1 July 2011, as the “gold standard” for anti-corruption legislation.

The Act applies to individuals committing an act in the UK, and individuals committing an act outside the UK where the action or omissions would have been an offence if carried out in the UK. It also applies provided that the individual undertaking the offence has a “close connection” with the UK. A “close connection” can include individuals who are UK residents, UK businesses, or British citizens. The corporate offence only applies to legal persons working for a business, or part of a business in the UK, although the offence does not need to have occurred in the UK in order to fall foul of the Act.

Any business operating anywhere in the world that conducts all or part of its business in the UK, can be liable under the Act. Being found guilty can mean unlimited fines, potential personal liability, imprisonment and ban on bidding for public European contracts.

According to the Journal of Economic Perspectives, the World Bank estimates that the value of bribes paid every year around the globe totals more than $1 trillion or 3 per cent of global GDP.

There is no doubt that ensuring “adequate procedures” are in place is a key factor to mitigating the risk of liability under the Bribery Act. The UK Ministry of Justice’s guidance outlines six key principles set out what would be considered as “adequate procedures” are as follows: 1) proportionate procedures, 2) top level commitment, 3) risk assessment, 4) due diligence, 5) effective implementation and 6) monitoring and review. The principles were issued to guide businesses towards developing a sound compliance program that could help them avoid liability under the Bribery Act and other international anti-corruption legislation.

The “proportionate procedures” and “risk assessment” principles advise that measures put in place should be proportional to the risk faced. In order to ensure that the risks are fully understood, they should also carry out risk assessments. These two principles have been among the most important over the past year since the Bribery Act was enacted.

According to Deloitte’s Anti-Corruption poll of 1,200 business professionals, 24.2 per cent have changed their anti-corruption programs to comply with various anti-corruption regulations. This is an indicator that the principle of “due diligence” is being applied. According to the Ministry of Justice, “due diligence” should also be applied in response to any assessed risks.

The Ministry of Justice adds that there should be “top-level commitment” to anti-corruption practices. The principles of “effective implementation” and “monitoring and review” recommend a high level of communication in providing training of compliance practices and procedures and along with ongoing monitoring and review of the effectiveness of any program.

Without high-quality and proper translation, businesses may struggle to provide evidence that they have “adequate procedures” in place. Businesses can take advantage of high-quality translation services in developing compliance programmes through training and e-learning. Any organisation with a global workforce needs to ensure they are well-versed in how to identify and avoid situations that could be interpreted as breaching legislation.

Working with a qualified translation services provider such as Merrill Brink International, which offers expertise in translation services and support to a wide range of sectors can help businesses ensure global compliance with the Act. A qualified language service provider(LSP) can support in translating training materials and new business policies.

As businesses look forward to another year, working with a translation provider that understands compliance issues will help them implement thorough training and e-learning programs to support compliance and limit their exposure to risk under the UK Bribery Act.

Samant, Prajakt and Goligorsky, Simone, The UK Bribery Act: One Year on:

2 Svensson, Jakob. 2005. “Eight Questions about Corruption.” Journal of Economic Perspectives. 9:3, pp. 19-42. http://bit.ly/PpjhFR

About Merrill Brink International
Merrill Brink International (http://www.merrillbrink.com) is a leading provider of complete translation and language solutions for global companies and law firms, with special expertise in serving the legal, financial, life sciences, software, heavy machinery and corporate markets. A proven leader with more than 30 years of experience, Merrill Brink offers a wide range of language solutions including translation, localisation, desktop publishing and globalisation services.

Merrill Brink is recognised in the industry for its commitment to quality and its pioneering approach of leveraging technology to reduce costs, eliminate redundant processes and accelerate translation life cycles. Merrill Brink is certified to ISO 9001:2008; ISO 27001:2005 and ISO 13485:2003, and registered to EN 15038:2006 and ISO 14971:2007. Together, these standards provide assurance that the most stringent process and quality standards for translation are followed. Merrill Brink International is a wholly owned subsidiary of Merrill Corporation.
For more information, please contact Merrill Brink at Transquote(at)merrillcorp.com or in Europe, call 44 (0) 207 562 3300 or in the U.S., call 888-601-9814; Web: http://www.merrillbrink.com
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