The UK Bribery Act (the Bribery Act) entered into force on July 1, 2011. It’s a part of an international trend that started with US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 1977 (the FCPA). Bribery Act is not restricted to the bribing of foreign public officials, and companies who had adopted FCPA-compliance programs are unlikely to have sufficient practices to ensure compliance with the Bribery Act. Considering the wider scope of the Bribery Act, it is crucial for companies that are doing business on a global basis (especially in regions with reputations for corruption) to know the main differences between the Bribery Act and FCPA.


The UK Bribery Act


Extraterritorial application



Bribery on a private level


FCPA does not cover bribery on a private level

Active and Passive bribery

UK Bribery Act criminalizes both acts of active (i.e. giving a bribe) and passive (i.e. receiving a bribe) forms of bribery

FCPA covers only an act of an active bribery

Scope of a bribe

Offered or given to any person

Restricted to foreign officials


Up to ten years of prison and unlimited fines. Convictions leads to prohibition of participation in any tendering for public contracts in EU

Up to five years of prison and fines up to $2 million


Offence does not require a corrupt intent on the part of the briber

It must be proved that an act of offering a bribe had corrupt intent

Prevention of bribery

Failure to prevent bribery (i.e. have adequate procedures in place) is an offence of strict liability

FCPA requires maintaining accurate books and records to prevent corrupt payments

Facilitation payments (payments, made to speed up the administrative act)

Zero-tolerance attitude to any local practices of securing the performance of routine governmental actions

Must not influence the decisions-making process, otherwise – allowed

Risk Consulting can help you with: 

  • risk assessments;
  • country integrity law-screening;
  • due diligence of third parties;
  • reviewing/drafting corporate compliance programs;
  • development of materials for anti-corruption trainings with employees;
  • sanctions compliance;
  • reviewing/drafting anti-corruption policies;
  • drafting standard terms and conditions for third party contracts;
  • advising on potential breaches of the legislation.

Aziz Bagadirov

February 15, 2017