Corporate Bribery Bill to be announced in Queen’s Speech

A new Bribery Bill that makes it an offence to bribe foreign officials and for businesses that fail to prevent bribery is expected to be outlined in the 2009 Queen’s Speech later today.

Measures to stop bankers who take ‘reckless risks’ from getting bonuses and plans for free social care for the most needy are also due to be announced.

Under the Bribery Bill, a new offence of corporate negligence in failing to prevent bribery means companies would have to prove they had adequate checks in place, or face prosecution along with the individuals directly responsible for bribery, reports the Telegraph.

A committee of MPs has already examined the Bill and recommended that the need to prove negligence should be removed, throwing the burden of proof on to the company to show it was not at fault.

The Queen’s Speech is also set to include a Social Care Bill, which will enable around 280,000 of the neediest people in England to receive free personal care in their own homes.

According to the Guardian, that will cover basic, everyday living tasks such as getting up, dressing, washing, and using the toilet.

Meanwhile, a Financial Services and Business Bill is expected to allow regulators to tear up banker bonus contracts, the Independent reports. The Bill is due to allow the Financial Services Authority to cancel contracts that would see bankers pocket excessive bonuses or pay packages that reward undue risk-taking.

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