The Register of People with Significant Control Register came into effect in April of this year. On the surface of things, the majority of businesses won’t be affected, other than the registration requirements. However, in the case of procurement, there is one thing every business owner absolutely must know.
How the Public Register of those with significant control will correlate to the Bribery Act 2010.
Back in 2011, Ruth McNaught, Solicitor of Harper Macleod LLP, wrote on the Govopps.co.ukwebsite about the Bribery Act 2010 and its Effect on Procurement. In that article, Ruth wrote:
“Regulation 23(1) sets out the mandatory disqualification criteria: a contracting authority must treat a prospective bidder as ineligible and not select that bidder if it, or its directors, has been convicted of (among other things) conspiracy; corruption; bribery; fraud; or money laundering.
The contracting authority must have actual knowledge that the bidder, its directors or any other person who has powers of representation, decision or controlof the economic operator has been convicted of these offences.”
As you can see from the information above, the persons with control in a business has been for a while now, a factor in the procurement process. What’s happening now though is with the register being publicly accessible, it will tighten the Bribery Act further by giving all commercial businesses access to information they’d previously only be able to acquire through some deep digging around and probing for information.
With the PSC register, anyone is able to get the names of each person with significant control of a business, making it much more accessible for commercial enterprises to know exactly who they are doing business with.
For the purposes of commercial contracts within procurement, where anyone named with control is known to have practiced unethical business in the past, it could rule your business out of the tendering process completely.
Back in 2011 when the Bribery Act came into effect, it set the UK as a global leader of anti-corruption, setting the bar for the highest of ethical standards. This new PSC register takes things a step further to champion the UKs strong ethical standards.
In order to comply with the Bribery Act 2010, the government issued guidance for businesses. You can find those guidance notes here. Section seven is important as it puts responsibility on business owners, requiring organisations to take active measures on preventing bribery from happening in commercial organisations.
The guidance notes don’t go further to give measures that business owners can take to prevent it however we did find a good resource at theQCA.com website, which you can view here.
All government publications regarding the People with Significant Control Register can be found here.
With the strengthening of anti-corruption legislations, and tougher sentencing, with the potential for disbarment as a company director, it’s putting a lot of pressure on SMBs to carefully consider who they have aboard their organisations and to ensure they are compliant with all relevant legislations, which is now not only relevant to business owners but also extending to those they trust with control over how business is conducted.
Anyone with significant control in any business must be trustworthy and most certainly not convicted of any offences relating to unethical trading, in particular in relation to the Bribery Act 2010.
As a member of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, we ensure that every supplier we deal with upholds the same high ethical standards as our firm, for which the PSC register will be able to help us trust who we partner with. There will be other businesses using the register too. It’s for this reason we advise business owners to carefully check who they are associated with as it could impact on tendering processes.
Image courtesy of theqca.com.