London (UK), November 2016 - CloudQast, a leadership-communications specialist, has produced two generic eLearning programmes on the 2010 Bribery Act and Competition (antitrust) Law. CloudQast director, Lindsey Mack, said, "Having researched, written, and produced these programmes specifically for CloudQast clients in 2012, we’ve now decided to make them available more generally because this legislation has far-reaching effects on more or less every business."
"So, we’ve updated them – adding a further module - to take account of the way in which the law has been applied and highlight some of the huge penalties that have been handed out, including a £2.5m fine and the imprisoning of one UK sales director for three years."
Both the six-module Bribery Act programme and the one-module Competition (antitrust) Law programme are configured to be delivered on any delivery device. The costs, per complete programme, are £20 per person for organisations of up to 1,000 people. This cost per person reduces for larger organisations.
Lindsey’s fellow CloudQast director, Damian Gaskin, explained, "The Bribery Act 2010 updated and enhanced the UK’s law on bribery, including foreign bribery, to address the requirements of the 1997 OECD anti-bribery Convention. It’s now among the strictest of international legislation on bribery and, among other things, sets out an offence for organisations of failing to prevent bribery.
"This criminal offence places the burden of proof on organisations to show they have adequate procedures in place to prevent bribery. The Act also provides for strict penalties for active and passive bribery by individuals as well as organisations."
The Bribery Act created four key offences:
- two that cover promising, or the giving of, an advantage, and requesting, agreeing to receive, or accepting an advantage
- bribery of a foreign public official, and
- failure by a commercial organisation to prevent a bribe being paid to obtain, or retain, business, or a business advantage.
"To avoid corporate liability for bribery, organisations must ensure they have strong, up-to-date and effective anti-bribery policies and systems, and CloudQast’s eLearning modules can play a key part in raising awareness and would be considered one of the adequate procedures required," said Lindsey.
"The Act applies to UK organisations, UK companies operating abroad, and overseas companies with a presence in the UK. And although a company’s anti-bribery programme may comply with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), that doesn’t necessarily ensure that it constitutes adequate procedures under the Bribery Act," he added.
CloudQast’s Competition Law programme deals with European antitrust policy which, in turn, is derived from two central rules set out in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union – Articles 101 and 102.
"Article 101 prohibits agreements between two or more independent market operators which restrict competition," said Damian. "This effectively outlaws cartels, which can involve price-fixing and/or market sharing.
"Article 102 prohibits firms holding a dominant market position to abuse that position – perhaps by charging unfair prices, limiting production, or refusing to innovate to the detriment of consumers.
"National Competition Authorities (NCAs) are empowered to apply Articles 101 and 102 to ensure that competition isn’t distorted or restricted,” he continued. “National courts may also apply these provisions to protect the individual rights conferred, by the Treaty, on citizens.
"In addition, the CloudQast programme deals with antitrust law in the USA, so it applies to organisations that trade there, too. It gives a basic overview of competition law/ antitrust principles so your employees know what they can’t do!"
Both The Bribery Act and Competition (antitrust) Law programmes are available in English and French.