Previous posts here, here and here highlighted the U.S. prong of the recent Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against French bank Société Générale S.A. (SoGen) “relating to a multi-year scheme to pay bribes to officials in Libya.”
Today’s post is from Robert Wyld (an attorney at Johnson Winter & Slattery in Sydney and the Australia Expert for FCPA Professor) and covers recent developments from Australia in the general area of foreign bribery.
The key issues that are covered include: Australian Securities & Investments Commission and Australian Wheat Board UN Oil-For-Food Cases; Foreign Bribery Law Reforms; Private Sector Whistleblower Protection Reform; and Senate Economics Reference Committee Review of Australian Foreign Bribery Laws.
A guest post from David Père (Bryan Cave Paris) and Mark Srere (Bryan Cave Washington).
On 9 December 2016, France enacted the “Law on Transparency, Anti-Corruption and the Modernization of the Economy,” known as the “Sapin II Law.” Introducing new legal means into French Law to fight corruption, this law notably created the Agence Française Anti-corruption (French Anti-corruption Agency; the “AFA”) and a new legal instrument, namely the Convention Judiciaire d’Intérêt Public (Judicial Public Interest Agreement; the “CJIP”), enabling French Public Prosecutors to reach settlements with companies involved in offences of corruption, influence peddling or laundering of tax-fraud proceeds.
After the introductory comments in italics, the remainder of this post is from Corporate Counsel at a well-known U.S. based publicly traded company.
Do Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions based on foreign charitable donations (such as Schering-Plough, Nu Skin Enterprises and several others that include such allegations) represent a net positive or net negative?
The FCPA Guidance contains the unobjectionable statement that companies “cannot use the pretense of charitable contributions as a way to funnel bribes to government officials.” However, seldom are the circumstances as black and white as the government portrays and query whether business organizations, because of this guidance and because of the above enforcement actions involving charitable donations, have become excessively risk averse and have stopped contributing to humanitarian causes or otherwise pulled back from supporting communities or institutions in need. According to the below guest post, the answer is yes and query whether the world is a better place because of this.
This post was written by Omar Qureshi, Amy Wilkinson and Iskander Fernandez from CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP’s Corporate Crime & Investigations Team, who assisted Skansen Interiors Ltd. following charge.
Last month, the UK courts decided the first contested prosecution of a corporate for failing to prevent bribery under section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010. This was the first time that the so-called ‘adequate procedures’ defence was tested in court.