Survey: Bribery Act still confusing managers

This week marks a year since the UK Bribery Act came into effect – but according to a survey by a big-four accountancy firm, 72 per cent of middle managers are unaware of its implications.

Of the 28 per cent of middle managers who had heard of the act, just half felt they had received adequate training to ensure compliance.

The Ernst & Young survey, which polled 1,000 managers, highlights the lack of awareness of the Bribery Act, a lack of preparation by many organisations and maybe more understandably – confusion.

Dorit McCann, a lawyer at Carson McDowell in Belfast, said the results of this survey are not surprising.

“Despite the noise which was made back in July 2011 regarding the act coming into effect, it has been a relatively quiet year with little or no high-profile cases in the courts or in the media,” she said.

“Some companies are still not treating it seriously as they simply do not understand or are not fully aware of the potential for bribery within their own organisations.”

“The one-year anniversary is a good time to remind clients what they should be putting into place regards compliance policies and procedures and, just as importantly, training for staff to ensure good practice within their organisations, because ignorance or lack of understanding of the act will not be a form defence against any breaches.”

A summary of the main provisions of the UK Bribery Act can be found at