Results 121–140 of 1125 for speaker:Claire Ward

Public Bill Committee: Bribery Bill [Lords]: Clause 7 (16 Mar 2010)

Claire Ward: This important clause is concerned with the powers of commercial organisations to prevent bribery. The new offence is a key element in the reform of bribery legislation because it underpins the development of a corporate culture in which bribery is not tolerated, as is set out clearly in the clause. I encourage the Committee to support the clause.

Public Bill Committee: Bribery Bill [Lords]: Clause 7 (16 Mar 2010)

Claire Ward: I am sorry to repeat the point, but we are under no duty to provide the guidance at this stage. I am simply seeking to help the Committee to understand this guidance, which is a draft outline. Despite the many protestations that the hon. Member for Huntingdon may wish to make, there has been plenty of opportunity for him to consider the detail of the guidance, because it has been available to...

Public Bill Committee: Bribery Bill [Lords]: Clause 7 (16 Mar 2010)

Claire Ward: Precisely, but there was an opportunity for the hon. Gentleman to look at this matter when it became available this afternoon. The documents are simply to inform the discussion and the debate of the Committee. I am not under any duty to provide guidance at this stage. The hon. Gentleman’s amendment proposes that we replace “adequate” with “reasonable”. Does he feel...

Public Bill Committee: Bribery Bill [Lords]: Clause 7 (16 Mar 2010)

Claire Ward: A court will have an opportunity to consider all the factors. However, the hon. Gentleman is simply seeking to water down and to lower the threshold by replacing “adequate” with “reasonable”, and I cannot possibly accept the amendment on that basis.

Public Bill Committee: Bribery Bill [Lords]: Clause 7 (16 Mar 2010)

Claire Ward: Perhaps I can be even more helpful to the Committee and suggest that we deal with the guidance under clause 9, which is where the guidance should be discussed in detail. I am more than happy to come back to a discussion on that matter when we come to clause 9.

Public Bill Committee: Bribery Bill [Lords]: Clause 7 (16 Mar 2010)

Claire Ward: I am sure that the hon. Gentleman is reviewing the matter carefully as I speak.

Public Bill Committee: Bribery Bill [Lords]: Clause 7 (16 Mar 2010)

Claire Ward: I do not accept the views of the hon. Gentleman. I have sought to be as helpful as possible to the Committee by providing some information on the basis of the discussions that we have already had with our stakeholders, companies, the CBI and other organisations. On that basis, I felt that it would be helpful to provide the Committee with some indication of where those discussions were going...

Public Bill Committee: Bribery Bill [Lords]: Clause 7 (16 Mar 2010)

Claire Ward: I have pretty much said everything I possibly can on the matter. I intend to move on and deal with the issue in the amendment, which is the suggestion that we should replace “adequate” with “reasonable”. As I have already said, I do not believe that that is acceptable. It is a watering down of the test. It would allow an organisation to argue that, although the procedures...

Public Bill Committee: Bribery Bill [Lords]: Clause 7 (16 Mar 2010)

Claire Ward: On a point of order, Ms Walley. Are we are discussing the guidance in respect of clause 9, which is the guidance clause, or having a stand part debate on the offence in clause 7? That is not clear from what the hon. Gentleman is saying.

Public Bill Committee: Bribery Bill [Lords]: Clause 7 (16 Mar 2010)

Claire Ward: I understand that your guidance, Ms Walley, is to continue with the debate on the amendment. However, many of the issues that have been raised are wider than that and relate to the clause stand part debate. I will touch briefly on those issues, and then, since hon. Members have indicated that they wish to return to a stand part debate, we can do so again. I do not wish to repeat the process....

Public Bill Committee: Bribery Bill [Lords]: Clause 7 (16 Mar 2010)

Claire Ward: In order to make me feel more comfortable it would have to be not only the hon. Gentleman who is leaving, but his whole party. Nevertheless, I agree with him on this matter. He is right to say that we had agreed in another place—which I understood to be a cross-party agreement—on the inclusion of the term “adequate”, and that the appropriate way to deal with that was to...

Public Bill Committee: Bribery Bill [Lords]: Clause 7 (16 Mar 2010)

Claire Ward: The hon. Gentleman will find that we thought the document would be helpful.

Public Bill Committee: Bribery Bill [Lords]: Clause 7 (16 Mar 2010)

Claire Ward: I considered that it would be helpful, although, of course, it is not necessary to provide that information to the Committee at this stage, given that it is simply a draft outline of the issues we believe should be covered by the guidance. I felt it would be helpful to give hon. Members an opportunity to consider the document.

Public Bill Committee: Bribery Bill [Lords]: Clause 7 (16 Mar 2010)

Claire Ward: I felt it was helpful to the Committee to provide that information at this stage, but it was not necessary to do so. It is simply a draft outline of the  issues that we have been considering and I thought it would be helpful. The hon. Gentleman asked why the letter is dated 11 March. If he really wants to know, it is because I had it in my weekend box and, unfortunately, because of the...

Public Bill Committee: Bribery Bill [Lords]: Clause 7 (16 Mar 2010)

Claire Ward: One moment. The hon. Gentleman may think he needs considerable time to consider the document. I propose to deal with the amendments he has tabled in respect of “adequate” and “reasonable” and the issues around that. This is an opportunity for him to consider the guidelines as we move into the next section of the debate: the clause stand part.

Public Bill Committee: Bribery Bill [Lords]: Clause 6 (16 Mar 2010)

Claire Ward: The CBI is perfectly entitled to express concerns on behalf of its members. We seek to explain circumstances in which there might be an issue but, ultimately, the Bill cannot provide every type and detail of corporate hospitality or promotional expenditure that would fall one side of the line or the other. The matter is one for prosecutorial discretion. I expect that businesses are more than...

Public Bill Committee: Bribery Bill [Lords]: Clause 6 (16 Mar 2010)

Claire Ward: As I have already said, representatives from BIS have been part of our discussions. The matter has had broad support across the whole of government, which includes what is related to business.

Public Bill Committee: Bribery Bill [Lords]: Clause 6 (16 Mar 2010)

Claire Ward: My colleagues in BIS have given their support to the Bill. I have covered the issues raised in clause 6 extensively. I encourage the Committee to approve clause stand part.

Public Bill Committee: Bribery Bill [Lords]: Clause 6 (16 Mar 2010)

Claire Ward: How interesting! One moment we hear the Opposition call for flexibility in legislation to make sure that we respond to the needs of businesses, and in the next breath they are telling us that we cannot afford to have any wriggle room. It will be interesting to see where we get to with this debate.

Public Bill Committee: Bribery Bill [Lords]: Clause 6 (16 Mar 2010)

Claire Ward: Perhaps I can proceed a little further first. The reality is that the clause needs to be put into context. First, the measure concerns foreign public officials and relates to where such officials are involved. Bringing other companies from other parts of the world over is not appropriate or important in this respect; it relates to the transfer of an advantage to the individual. That may not...


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