Richard Alderman, Director of the United Kingdom's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) Discusses new U.K. Bribery Act at PwC Sponsored Forum in D.C.

PwC Continues Commitment to Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Initiatives

Oct 20, 2010, 17:40 ET from PwC

NEW YORK, Oct. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- PwC US continues to demonstrate the firm's ongoing commitment to anti-bribery and anti-corruption initiatives by sponsoring a conversation with Richard Alderman, Director of the United Kingdom's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) on the issues of global fraud and corruption. Transparency International USA (TI), working with PwC, arranged to have Mr. Alderman speak to senior compliance and anti-corruption professionals at an event today in Washington, DC.

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The panel discussion moderated by Mark Mendelsohn, formerly of the Department of Justice, focused primarily on the U.K.'s new Bribery Act, expected to be implemented in April 2011. Analogous to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the new Bribery Act will fall within the SFO's enforcement authority.

The U.K. Bribery Act comes after years of effort to update and strengthen the U.K.'s anti-bribery laws. The Act will become effective after the U.K. Ministry of Justice issues guidance about how the U.K. government will define and interpret the "adequate procedures" that the Act will deem necessary to provide a defense against liability for failure to prevent foreign bribery.

This PwC-sponsored TI event is an opportunity for a select group of anti-corruption professionals to engage in an in-depth discussion with the U.K.'s anti-corruption official responsible for ultimately enforcing the Act. The SFO is the U.K.'s agency for investigating and prosecuting cases of overseas corruption.

"PwC is a leader in providing organizations and governments with robust and state-of-the-art anti-corruption solutions. We strongly encourage all companies to understand the new U.K. Bribery Act and how it differs from the FCPA," said David Jansen, anti-corruption specialist and partner in PwC's Anti-corruption practice. "This conversation is an excellent opportunity for key members of the anti-corruption community, in industry and the law, to hear directly from Mr. Alderman about the Act and the importance of designing and maintaining adequate internal anti-corruption compliance policies, procedures and controls."

Richard Alderman commented that he was pleased to see "...strong commitment by corporates to a serious anti-corruption culture." When asked a question about similarities and differences between the U.S. FCPA and the new U.K. Bribery Act, Alderman cautioned that "...being compliant with the FCPA does not equal compliance under the U.K. Bribery Act."

PwC has been actively involved in anti-corruption efforts around the globe.

"The advent of the U.K. Anti-Bribery Law is a sign of the continued maturation of the international network of anti-corruption policies, regulations, law and treaty," added Glenn Ware, anti-corruption specialist and managing director in PwC's Anti-corruption practice. "The stakes for organizations and individuals -- and the value of understanding and preparation to address and navigate this network have never been higher. Consequently, the importance of a dialogue with regulators and enforcers has never been greater. Even a single incident of corruption can lead to irreparable economic hardship and reputational damage that may adversely affect the overall stability and competitiveness of any business or government. Implementing an effective anti-corruption compliance program with strong training and detection capabilities allows organizations to more closely and effectively avoid risks."

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