Introduction and Overview
Following the signing of a commencement order on 30 July 2018, the Criminal Justice (Corruption Offences) Act 2018 (the "Act") is now in force. The Act represents a comprehensive overhaul of the Irish anti bribery and corruption ("ABaC") regime. A detailed overview of the Act, including detail on the Act's criminal penalties and extra-territorial effect, is set out in our previous advisory available here. In order to ensure your company, board and senior management mitigate the risk of a breach of the Act, we have set out below key steps that you should take immediately.
Steps to Protect your Company, Board and Senior Management
It is a defence to proceedings under the Act for a company to prove that "it took all reasonable steps and exercised all due diligence to avoid the commission of the offence". In practice, to ensure this defence is available to your company, you should take steps including:
- put in place (or update your existing) ABaC policy with reference to the Act;
- ensure your compliance officer (or another suitable member of staff) is assigned ownership of the company's ABaC policy and framework, with appropriate reporting to the board;
- ensure your board/senior management consider and receive training on you company's ABaC policy;
- consider if wider staff training is required; and
- update (or implement) a gifts and entertainment register for your company.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.