The Government has finally published the Corruption Bill 2006, but without bothering to to publish any Explanatory Notes or Regulatory Impact Assessment of the cost and bureaucratic red tape burden which it will impose. How much will it cost the UK taxpayer to enforce ?
It will be interesting to see if this proposed legislation is ever applied to the sleazy world of commercial and political lobbying, special advisors, ex-Ministers and retired senior Civil Servants or senior Military Officers who joining the boards of companies which have bid for large UK Government contracts in which they were involved in etc. These are covered by the non-statutory Ministerial and Civil Service Codes. The Corruption Act 2006 will have criminal penalties.
It may be that even honest civil servants or businessmen etc. will be accused of impropriety, and, given the jobsworth , backside covering, politicallly correct attitude of the Police once an "Official Complaint" has been made, they will be arrested, have their fingerprints and DNA taken etc. and retained until their 100th birthday etc., even if no actual charges are ever brought.
This Bill also appears to be untainted by any hint of practicality or enforcability in regard to inherently corrupt Foreign Government Officals in so many parts of the world see the reports by Transparency International
Like Part 12 of the bodged Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001, brought in by the notorious David Blunkett, which it will repeal, this Bill has no exemptions for our intelligence agencies or military forces or even for charity aid workers overseas:
25 The Crown (1) Part 1 binds the Crown, subject to subsections (2) to (6).
(2) No contravention by the Crown of a provision of Part 1 makes the Crown criminally liable.
(3) But the High Court may, on the application of a person appearing to the court to have an interest, declare unlawful an act or omission of the Crown which constitutes a contravention of a provision of Part 1.
(4) Despite subsection (2), the provisions of Part 1 apply to persons in the public service of the Crown as they apply to other persons.
Therefore no payments to any foreign government officials by the Secret Intelligence Service MI6 when recruting intelligence agents within foreign Governments. No bribing of foreign border guards or customs officials either by intelligence agencies, military personnel or even charity aid workers.
This proposed legislation continues the evil NuLabour scheme of reversing the burden of proof and destroying the presumption of innocence and the requirement for the prosecution to prove a criminal offence "beyond reasonable doubt".
9 Failure to report
(1) A person who fails to comply with section 8 commits an offence.
(2) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (1) to prove that he reasonably believed that if he made the disclosure required to be made by him under that section, physical harm would be done to him or to another person or to his or their property.
What about non-physical threats such as loss of your job or of promotion prospects, or being deported from a foreign country ?