Written by Dylan Owens
As we approach the middle of 2015, the threat of bribery and corruption continues to dramatically change the global landscape. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and U.K. Bribery Act (UKBA) dominate the world of anti-corruption laws, but other countries are rapidly changing their laws as well.
In March, after numerous bribery scandals, Italy enacted its own anti-corruption law. While it is admittedly not the strongest measure to prevent corruption, it is a start. The need for these laws is apparent: if there are no protocols in place, then there is nothing to stop businesses and governments from cashing in on corrupt practices.
Likewise, in Ukraine, a new law was passed this year that requires public companies and certain state-owned enterprises to appoint a compliance officer to oversee a compliance program. The law outlines the following as topics that should be covered in the new compliance programs:
- Conduct risk assessments;
- Implement monitoring systems;
- Draft an employee code of conduct;
- Define each role in the anti-corruption compliance;
- Enact some type of whistleblower procedures;
- Raise employee awareness on anti-corruption;
- Implement a program to hold employees liable for violation;
- Include compliance provisions for third-parties
While this is certainly a step in the right direction, the law’s one glaring hole is that there is no penalty for failing to have a compliance program.
At the start of 2015, anti-money laundering (AML) was a hot topic for enforcement. Across the world, we have seen enforcements of AML laws. To prevent money laundering, countries such as Panama and Singapore have recently signed laws to offset illegal activity. These laws provide authorities in each jurisdiction more leeway to enforce penalties against violators and are intended to incentivize companies to conduct proper due diligence and maintain records properly.
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