asked Her Majesty's Government:
What is their response to comments on the White Paper, Raising Standards and Upholding integrity: the Prevention of Corruption (CM 4759). [HL1744]
§ Lord Bassam of Brighton
The main proposals in the White Paper were to reform the law of corruption in the light of recommendations made by the Law Commission; to put beyond doubt that the crime of corrupting public officials extends to foreign public officials; to introduce a new offence of trading in influence; and to take jurisdiction over United Kingdom nationals who commit bribery offences abroad.
We received six comments on the White Paper, most of which were broadly favourable to our main proposals. The main points made by commentators, and the Government's reaction to them, are contained in a paper which has today been placed in the Library.
My right honourable friend the Home Secretary has decided to make two changes to the scheme set out in the White Paper in the light of comments received. First, the legislation will include proposals for a new offence of trading in influence which will apply to both the public and the private sectors. As the extension of the offence to the private sector is a new proposal, my right honourable friend will listen most carefully to the arguments on both sides when the Bill comes before the House. Secondly, the legislation will extend not only to England and Wales but to Northern Ireland as well.
My right honourable friend will bring forward legislation to implement the proposals at the earliest opportunity.