Ministerial Statement by the Attorney General & Minister of Legal Affairs, The Hon. Trevor Moniz, JP, MP
Good morning Mr Speaker, Today I am presenting to this Honourable House a draft consultation copy of the Bribery Act 2016. You will recall my statement of Friday, 20 May 2016 detailing plans to modernize Bermuda’s laws on corruption and bribery. My Ministry then, through the Office of the National Anti-Money Laundering Committee, committed to tabling consultation draft legislation in July of this year.
Mr Speaker, The Bribery Act 2016 is modelled largely on the UK’s Bribery Act 2010. The Act would provide a modern and comprehensive scheme of bribery offences, in order to allow investigators, prosecutors and the courts to tackle bribery effectively whether committed in Bermuda or overseas. The Act would help to enhance Bermuda’s international reputation for the highest ethical standards.
Mr Speaker, The Bribery Act 2016 would create the following new offences:
- one general offence of bribery covering the offering, promising or giving of a financial or other advantage;
- another general offence covering the requesting, agreeing to receive or accepting of a financial or other advantage;
- a specific offence of bribing a foreign public official;
- a specific offence of failure by a commercial organization to prevent bribery, although it is a defence if a commercial organization can prove - on the balance of probabilities - that it had ‘adequate procedures’ in place to prevent persons associated with it from bribing;
- a specific offence of failing to fulfill a duty to report bribery, such duty arising where a person exercising functions on behalf of a public authority is offered or receives an advantage which may constitute bribery; and
- a specific offence of interfering with such a duty to report bribery.
Mr Speaker, The Bribery Act 2016 would also create a new National Anti-Corruption and Bribery Committee (or “NACAB”) comprised of public officials charged with (1) advising the Minister generally on the detection and prevention of corruption and bribery, (2) reviewing the operation of the Act and (3) periodically evaluating the existing legislative and administrative measures in place in Bermuda to combat corruption and bribery.
Mr Speaker, Tabling a consultative draft copy of the Bribery Act 2016 will facilitate industry and stakeholder review of the legislation. Submissions concerning the proposed legislation are welcome no later than Monday, 15 August 2016, and may be sent to the Office of the National Anti-Money Laundering Committee on the 4th Floor of Global House on Church Street, or electronically to info-NAMLC@gov.bm. Once again for the listening public, that is “info” “hyphen” “N A M L C”, all one word, @gov.bm.
Mr Speaker, Government is rightly proud of its efforts to modernize the law on bribery and corruption. By enacting new legislation which is based on an international gold standard in the UK’s Bribery Act 2010, Bermuda is signaling to the rest of the world its serious intentions to meet and surpass the highest standards as a place in which to do business.
Mr Speaker, I look forward to continuing to update this Honourable House and the people of Bermuda on all efforts in this regard.