NEW legislation aimed at strengthening the Isle of Man’s ability to combat bribery will be introduced into the House of Keys for First Reading on Tuesday, December 4.
The Bribery Bill 2012 will bring the Isle of Man into line with developing international standards and ensure there are no obstacles in the way of Manx businesses trading with other jurisdictions, in particular the UK.
The Department of Home Affairs, which is progressing the legislation, has this week published a summary of responses to a six-week public consultation held in the summer. The document also sets out the Department’s position on issues raised by the respondents.
Home Affairs Minister Juan Watterson MHK said: ‘I’d like to express my gratitude to all those who contributed to the consultation process. We have listened and taken on board some constructive comments about this important piece of legislation. Measures to combat bribery are a significant factor in a country’s international reputation, and this Bill strengthens our commitment to promoting the Isle of Man as an open, transparent and well-regulated jurisdiction.’
The main difference between the Bribery Bill 2012 and the legislation it is set to replace, the Corruption Act 2008, is the introduction of a new offence. This will make a commercial organisation liable to be prosecuted for failing to prevent bribery if a person associated with it commits a bribery offence anywhere in the world for the benefit of that organisation. However, as in the UK, the organisation will have a defence if it can prove that it had in place adequate procedures designed to prevent such criminal conduct occurring.
The proposed maximum fine of £10,000 on summary conviction of certain bribery offences in the Isle of Man is set at the same level as applies in Scotland.
Minister Watterson said: ‘Such offences are subject to international scrutiny and the proposed increase in the maximum fine demonstrates that the Isle of Man takes the issue of bribery very seriously. We have a strong track record of complying with best practice, and the new legislation will ensure we are keeping pace with changes in global standards. It will also assist the many businesses in the Island which have links to the United Kingdom by ensuring that they are operating under similar law and so will need only one set of compliance requirements.’
The document containing the summary of responses to the consultation on the Bill is available on the Department of Home Affairs website at http://www.gov.im/ConsultationDetail.gov?id=326
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