Bribery Act 2010

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Protect your practice

GMS Contract 


The act covers four categories

  1. A general offence of bribing; offering, promising, or giving a bribe to another person
  2. A general offence of being bribed; requesting, agreeing to receive, or accepting a bribe from another person
  3. An offence of bribing a foreign public official
  4. A corporate offence of failing to prevent bribery by persons associated with relevant organisations

An organisation may be liable because an associated person e.g. an employee/ partner has committed an offence under the Act. The only defence by the organisation would be to demonstrate adequacy of their organisational policy, procedures and policing of these.

The UK Ministry of Justice Guidance issued in March 2011 (UKBA Guidance) sets out the following six principles that should inform an organisation’s approach in establishing adequate procedures. The focus in on active and effective procedures, rather than paper policies:

  • proportionate procedures (i.e. procedures which are proportionate to the bribery risks which the organisation faces given its activities, which are clear, practical, accessible, effectively implemented and enforced)
  • top-level commitment (i.e. the senior management/partners should foster a culture within the organisation in which bribery is never acceptable)
  • risk assessment (i.e. the organisation should periodically assess and review the nature and extent of its exposure to potential internal and external bribery risks, documenting reviews)
  • due diligence (i.e. applying due diligence procedures in respect of persons who perform or will perform services for and on behalf of the organisation)
  • communication including training (i.e. ensuring that bribery prevention policies and procedures are embedded and understood through communication
  • monitoring and review (i.e. monitoring and reviewing the policies and procedures and making improvements where necessary)

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Protect your practice by:

  • Carrying out a risk assessment of the likelihood of bribery or corruption
  • Developing a code of conduct and procedures/policies, including reporting procedures for staff members and decide how allegations would be investigated
  • These should be well publicised and included as part of staff training and included in the staff handbook

Prompt independent legal advice is recommended should any instances of corruption occur. Convictions under the Act may result in imprisonment of up to 10 years or a fine.

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GMS Contract

You should also be aware of the requirements regarding bribery and corruption of the GMS Contract, namely provision 93, sections 1-6


93.—(1) The contractor must keep a register of gifts which—

(i) a patient,

(ii) a relative of a patient, or

(iii) any person who provided or would like to provide services to the contractor or its patients in connection with the contract; and

(b) have, in the contractor’s reasonable opinion, an individual value of more than £100.00.”

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