SFO bribery guidance fuels self-reporting dilemma

Author: Gemma Varriale | Published: 17 Oct 2012

Companies that report bribery within their ranks are not necessarily immune from criminal charges, according to new guidance from the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO). The announcement heightens the risk attached to self-reporting and has divided market opinion.

The revised guidance on the 2011 Bribery Act was released on October 9. It followed SFO director David Green’s review of the anti-fraud office’s policies.

Former director Richard Alderman encouraged US-style self-reporting by offering the incentive of a civil, as opposed to criminal, resolution. This is no longer the case. The SFO has refused to guarantee that a prosecution won’t follow such a report.

"There has always been a degree of uncertainty when it came to self reporting, but the SFO is even more...