Video 2: Anti-Corruption Enforcement Across the Globe

||Video 2: Anti-Corruption Enforcement Across the Globe

Video 2: Anti-Corruption Enforcement Across the Globe

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If your company conducts business globally, this video looks at the over 70 other countries who have adopted statutes similar to the FCPA.

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If your company conducts business globally, this video looks at the over 70 other countries who have adopted statutes similar to the FCPA. These laws are based upon the OECD Convention Against Bribery and Corruption and its Good Practice Guidance on Internal Controls, Ethics, and Compliance. Tom takes a closer look at The UK Bribery Act as well as the growing international anti-corruption enforcement efforts in China.

The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

Over 70 other countries have adopted statutes similar to the FCPA. These are based upon the OECD Convention Against Bribery and Corruption and its Good Practice Guidance on Internal Controls, Ethics, and Compliance.

UK Bribery Act

The UK Bribery Act became effective on July 1, 2011. It was enacted in response to OECD criticism of the British government in its handling of the BAE corruption scandal.

The Bribery Act has several key differences with the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. These differences include:

  • The FCPA only criminalizes bribes paid to government officials. The Bribery Act makes all such corruption illegal.
  • There is no exemption for facilitation payments under the Bribery Act.
  • The Bribery Act provides strict liability to corporations for the acts of their employees. The FCPA does not.
  • The Bribery Act provides an affirmative defense to this strict liability called ‘Adequate Procedures’ so that if a company has an effective compliance program it cannot be held strictly liable for the acts of its employees.
  • The Bribery Act makes illegal the receipt of bribes while the FCPA only criminalizes the payment of bribes.

International Anti-Corruption Enforcement Efforts-China?

China exploded on the world anti-corruption enforcement stage with its very public enforcement action against the British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). This enforcement action was very different from those in the US and the UK because China enforced its own domestic anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws against a western company. Some of the highlights of the GSK anti-corruption enforcement action included:

  • Public arrest and detainment of GSK China subsidiary senior management.
  • Public admissions by GSK China officials that they had engaged in bribery and corruption.
  • Regular announcements by Chinese regulators on the status of the ongoing investigation.
  • Within two weeks of the announcement of the Chinese investigation, GSK parent ‘apologized’ for breaking Chinese law.
  • Conviction in one-day secret trial.

Since the announcement of the GSK investigation, almost 20 western companies have announced they are under investigation, are self-investigating their Chinese operations or Chinese regulators have announced investigations.

This Chinese anti-corruption enforcement action of its own domestic anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws against foreign companies may signal an entirely new shift in anti-corruption enforcement actions.