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Global Corruption
Corruption is a particularly viral form of cancer. It is caught here and there but it reappears somewhere else as soon as vigilance is relaxed. It is not eliminated, just driven underground. The corrupt merely suspend their operations temporarily. It lingers, hovering always in the background for its next opportunity.
- Gerald E. Caiden
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20 prerequisites for transparency

20 prerequisites for transparency | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
What does transparency that leads to accountability look like? We summarise the key ideas from our live chat panel

 

Transparency depends on both civil society and governments: Being, or becoming, transparent requires efforts and skills on the side of governments, and using available information requires efforts and skills on the side of civil society and citizens more generally. Both are equally important and deserve support.

Collaboration helps build government incentives: It's often a combination of different factors that convinces governments to become more transparent. Pressure from outside (donors), within (CSOs and media) and from the sides (parliaments and audit bodies) can all add up. Make sure that these efforts complement each other.

Benchmarks and incentives should adapt to context: Benchmarks and incentives should be adapted to country context, negotiated in an open and participatory process, linked to capacity building and coupled with improvements in donor transparency.

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Corruption getting worse, says poll

Corruption getting worse, says poll | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

More than one in two people think corruption has worsened over the last two years, according to a public opinion survey by Transparency International. Its annual Global Corruption Barometer found 27% of respondents said they had paid a bribe when accessing public services and institutions in the last year. The survey covered more than 100 countries. Perhaps it's time to challenge our perceptions of corruption, writes BBC Newshour's Tim Franks.

The evidence suggests a global pandemic, a disease which infects and corrodes and rots. Most people appear to think it's getting worse. And yet the reaction is often just a tut - it's other people's problem, or a shrug - it's always been with us and it always will be.

It is corruption.

It is an act, a fact of life, which occurs - by and large - in the shadows. Some, though, are trying doggedly to draw back the curtain - among them, the Berlin-based pressure group, Transparency International. Its latest global survey of corruption covered 107 countries and 114,000 people. And most of them say that corruption has worsened over the last two years.

Continue reading the main storyKey findings of the Global Corruption Barometer 2013More than half of those surveyed believe corruption has worsened in the last two yearsIn the last year, 27% of respondents say they have paid a bribe when accessing public services and institutionsNearly 9 out of 10 people surveyed said they would act against corruption2/3 of those who were asked to pay a bribe say they had refusedIn 51 countries around the world political parties are seen as the most corrupt institutionTransparency International

There are some depressing, if predictable, trends. You are twice as likely to pay a bribe in a poor country as a rich one. In one in three countries, the greasiest palms belong to the police. In almost one in five, the judiciary. Overall, one in four people surveyed say they have paid a bribe.

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Are high bribery rates in poor countries blocking development? | space for transparency

Are high bribery rates in poor countries blocking development? | space for transparency | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

New findings from the United Nations show that global development commitments – called theMillennium Development Goals – are off track. Governance and corruption are one of the culprits.

Yet whole regions are behind on achieving the targets set for 2015, such as making sure all children are in school and that women get proper healthcare.

People from these same regions are more likely to pay bribes when using basic services, according to Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer 2013.

Percentage of respondents who report having paid a bribe to a key service in 20 of the poorest countries compared to the world average.

These results show the terrible impact corruption has on efforts to fight poverty. Almost one of every two people living in poor countries reports having paid a bribe in the last year when trying to do such basic things as seeking services from public utilities, enrolling their child in school, interacting with the police and getting an identity card.

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Global Corruption Barometer 2013

Transparency International's Global Corruption Barometer 2013 draws on a survey of more than
114,000 respondents in 107 countries.
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Global Corruption Barometer 2013 - Results

Global Corruption Barometer 2013 - Results | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
INSTITUTIONS PERCEIVED BY RESPONDENTS TO BE AMONG THE MOST AFFECTED BY CORRUPTION
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SEC May Require Auditor Attestation Disclosures

SEC May Require Auditor Attestation Disclosures | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

The Government Accountability Office recommended in a new report that the Securities and Exchange Commission should consider requiring public companies where applicable to explicitly disclose whether they obtained an auditor attestation of their internal controls.The SEC responded that investors could determine the attestation status from the available information. But without a clear disclosure, the GAO contended that investors may misinterpret a company's status, and therefore, this warrants the SEC’s further consideration...

Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires a public company to have its independent auditor attest to and report on management’s internal control over financial reporting. This is known as the auditor attestation requirement. In July 2010, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act exempted companies with less than $75 million in public float from the auditor attestation requirement.

However, the Dodd-Frank Act mandated that the GAO should examine the impact of the permanent exemption on the quality of financial reporting by small public companies and on investors. The report, released Wednesday, discusses how the number of financial statement restatements compares between exempt and nonexempt companies (i.e., those with $75 million or more in public float), the costs and benefits of complying with the attestation requirement, and what is known about the extent to which investor confidence is affected by compliance with the auditor attestation requirement.

For the report, the GAO analyzed financial restatements and audit fees data; surveyed 746 public companies with a response rate of 25 percent; interviewed regulatory officials and others; and reviewed laws, surveys and studies.

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Fight against graft: CAG and CVC not on the same page - India - dna

Fight against graft: CAG and CVC not on the same page - India -  dna | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
India’s top auditing body, the Comptroller and Auditor General, has not referred even a single case to the Central Vigilance Commission — the country’s apex body to address government corruption — in the past five years, documents in possession ofdna reveal.

In May 2001, the CVC issued a circular stating that all serious cases of malpractice reported by the CAG, which require further investigation, should be sent to the Commission for examination and follow-up action. Though the CAG has auditing powers, it lacks the authority to investigate cases.

“On receiving such references from the CAG, the CVC would take follow up action with the disciplinary authorities. In this way, it will be ensured that the cases of corruption and issues having a vigilance angle are not lost sight of and there is effective synergy between CAG and CVC to strengthen the system to fight corruption,” the circular stated. 

However, information obtained from both agencies under the RTI Act revealed that not a single case has been referred by the CAG to the CVC for investigation. Explaining the woeful lack of synergy, a sources in the CVC explained that auditing officials often fear detailed questioning from the investigating officer, and do not refer any cases. The prospect of additional paperwork is another deterrent.

“Until today, there is no official communication to show that the CAG has referred any case to the commission for investigation,” the source said. Since there are no official records, it is difficult to investigate further, and accountability cannot be fixed.
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Raul Castro Scolds Cuban People For Corruption And Other 'Bad Behavior'

Raul Castro Scolds Cuban People For Corruption And Other 'Bad Behavior' | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

The Cuban leader...spoke of the corrosive effects of official corruption, quoting his elder brother Fidel as saying such activity poses a greater risk to the Cuban Revolution's success than any outside forces.


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Red tape, graft mean India not such a super market for Wal-Mart

MUMBAI, July 8 (Reuters) - Wal-Mart's India expansion isstalled.When India announced last September that it would allow foreign supermarket chains to take majority ownership of their Indian operations,..

 

Wal-Mart's internal crackdown on bribe-paying has also slowed expansion plans in a country where paying bribes is seen as a standard cost of doing business, according to Indian retailers and industry officials. Reuters reported in May that retailers in India often pay so-called "speed money" to smooth the process of obtaining dozens of permits.

The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act forbids American firms from paying bribes. Wal-Mart launched a global review of corruption last year after a New York Times report on bribery at the company's Mexico operations. Its lawyers flagged India among the countries with the highest corruption risk.

In November, Bharti Walmart, the company's India joint venture, suspended employees including the chief financial officer as part of an internal investigation into bribery allegations in India.

More than 15 attorneys from U.S law firm Greenberg Traurig are now working with the Indian business to help strengthen compliance, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman said.

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France detains former Moscow official accused of fraud: Russia

French authorities have detained a former Russian politician who has been on an Interpol wanted list since November, accused of fraud worth 3.5 billion roubles ($105 million), Russia's Interior Ministry said on Saturday.

Alexei Kuznetsov was arrested at Russia's request, the ministry's website said, as President Vladimir Putin continues an anti-sleaze campaign to cement his grip on power.

Putin is a little more than a year into his third term as president, but his campaign for election was marked by widespread protests against official corruption and he has responded by barring holders of high office from keeping their wealth abroad.

Elections are being held for the mayor of Moscow and governor of Moscow Region this autumn, in a test of whether Putin's efforts have made an impression on voters.

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How corrupt is Detroit? - Columns - Detroit Metro Times

How corrupt is Detroit? - Columns - Detroit Metro Times | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

Last week the federal government announced that it would stop sending a $50 million annual grant to the Detroit Human Services Department due to nepotism, reckless spending and corruption. In another case, the U.S. Justice Department records allege that contractor and Kwame Kilpatrick pal Bobby Ferguson obtained $58.5 million through extortion and other illegal means as part of the alleged "Kilpatrick Enterprise." Meanwhile, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has recently formed a special multi-agency task force in its Detroit office, declaring a war on public corruption.

"The city of Detroit has been hit hard by public corruption crimes. The individuals who commit these crimes are driven by greed and have no regret for their selfish actions," said IRS-CID Special Agent in Charge Erick Martinez during a March 1 press conference announcing formation of the task force.

That sounds appropriate. When you look at the investigation into dealings at Wayne County under Executive Robert Ficano, the Mayor Kilpatrick et al. indictments, former City Council member Monica Conyers cooling it in the cooler for taking bribes, it would seem this is about as corrupt an area as you can get. Google "Detroit" and "corruption" and you'll find such choice phrases as "notoriously shady U.S. city," "reign of corruption" and (from Wikipedia) a "reputation as one of the most corrupt cities in America."

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Union dissidents accuse their leaders of corruption

Union dissidents accuse their leaders of corruption | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

The 380,000-member International Union of Operating Engineers likes to tout a history stretching back to the 1890s of bringing skilled labor to construction projects and the operations of large buildings across the nation...

The former leaders, including the 90-year-old founding member of one of the locals, assert current officials have violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations — RICO — Act. They are seeking the return of union funds and the appointment of a receiver to manage the operations of the two locals.

Among the insurgents' allegations: The union's former national leader made death threats against restive members; officials took kickbacks from employers who shortchanged pension and training funds; one former local official siphoned off union money for entertainment and his girlfriend's breast enhancement; and another flew to auto races and family get-togethers on an $8.6-million jet ostensibly purchased for union business.

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IPS – Getting Tough on Corruption in Cuba | Inter Press Service

IPS – Getting Tough on Corruption in Cuba | Inter Press Service | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

 As two separate trials of foreign businessmen continued amid extreme discretion, the Cuban government passed new anti-corruption measures, apparently indicating the Raúl Castro government’s desire to avoid loose ends with this thorny problem.

Castro, who is in his second and last five-year presidential term, said “the shameful matter of acts of indiscipline and illegalities” would be addressed “in-depth” during the parliament meeting set for Saturday Jul. 6. More than once, the president has said that such actions are a threat to the foundations of the country’s social system.

People posting comments on Café 108, the interactive section of the IPS Cuba bureau’s website, expressed scepticism about the possibility of short-term results in the crackdown on corruption, a problem that some described as a “product of the crisis” or a phenomenon “present in everyday life for Cubans.”

It is “damaging to the country, a bad example for the coming generations, insufficiently fought, tolerated, insufficiently reported by the media, not criticised at all among the populace, permitted in the family, a way of life for meeting household needs, and a breeding ground for the enemy,” wrote one participant, who signed as “Naue,” and also noted what had happened to essayist Esteban Morales after he published articles on the issue.

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Where They Stand: Four Key Corruption Investigations into Indian Politicians

Where They Stand: Four Key Corruption Investigations into Indian Politicians | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

India Real Time offers an update on the federal investigations into four major corruption scandals that made headlines in recent years...

India has been racked in recent years by numerous allegations of corruption against top government ministers and politicians. According to anti-corruption groups, such high-level graft in India won’t reduce until prosecutions result in convictions and jail terms, creating a chilling effect.

The Central Bureau of Investigation, India’s federal investigator, is the main agency for examining serious corruption allegations against senior government officials.  According to data from the National Crime Records Bureau released in June, the agency had 1,246 ongoing corruption investigations last year, of which it completed 648. As of the end of the year, there were nearly 7,000 cases pending trial.

Out of the 865 trials completed last year, there were 535 individuals convicted.

Some of the most prominent corruption investigations of recent years remain in the “pending” category. India Real Time offers an update, in chronological order, on the investigations or prosecutions of four prominent politicians who have been linked to the most talked-about corruption allegations of recent years.

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UK Public believe corruption growing under the coalition

UK Public believe corruption growing under the coalition | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
A majority of the British public believe corruption has increased since the coalition came to power, according to new research.

Transparency International's 2013 Global Corruption Barometer found 65% of people believed the UK had become more corrupt in the last two years.

Sixty-seven per cent of people said political parties were affected by corruption, while 55% believed parliament itself had a corruption problem.

Ninety per cent said British politics was run by a few big entities who were looking after their own interests.

There was little appetite for a government solution to the problem. Of the 90% who said they would report corruption, only 40% said they would do so to a government hotline if it existed.
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Global corruption survey reveals one in four people paid a bribe in past year

Global corruption survey reveals one in four people paid a bribe in past year | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

One in four people paid a bribe in dealing with public services and institutions in the past 12 months, according to a global corruption survey.

In the world's largest assessment of public opinion on the subject,Transparency International found that political parties are considered the most corrupt institutions, followed by the police, the judiciary, parliament and public officials. Religious institutions are seen as the least corrupt.

Transparency International says its annual survey shows a crisis of trust in politics and real concern about the capacity of institutions responsible for bringing criminals to justice.

"It is the actors that are supposed to be running countries and upholding the rule of law that are seen as the most corrupt, judged to be abusing their positions of power and acting in their own interests rather than for citizens they are there to represent and serve," said the global corruption barometer, a survey of 114,000 people in 107 countries.

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Map: Which country pays the most bribes?

Map: Which country pays the most bribes? | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
One person in four has paid a bribe to a public body in the last year, according to a survey carried out in 95 countries by Transparency International.
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TI GLOBAL CORRUPTION BAROMETER: Bribe paying still very high worldwide but people ready to fight back

TI GLOBAL CORRUPTION BAROMETER: Bribe paying still very high worldwide but people ready to fight back | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

More than one person in two thinks corruption has worsened in the last two years, according to the world’s largest public opinion survey on corruption from Transparency International, but survey participants also firmly believe they can make a difference and have the will to take action against graft.

The Global Corruption Barometer 2013 is a survey of 114,000 people in 107 countries and it shows corruption is widespread. 27 per cent of respondents have paid a bribe when accessing public services and institutions in the last 12 months, revealing no improvement from previous surveys.

Still, nearly 9 out of 10 people surveyed said they would act against corruption and two-thirds of those who were asked to pay a bribe had refused, suggesting that governments, civil society and the business sector need to do more to engage people in thwarting corruption.

“Bribe paying levels remain very high worldwide, but people believe they have the power to stop corruption and the number of those willing to combat the abuse of power, secret dealings and bribery is significant, “ said Huguette Labelle, the Chair of Transparency International.

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News from The Partnership for Transparency Fund - July 8, 2013

News from The Partnership for Transparency Fund - July 8, 2013 | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
Learning from Unsatisfactory Results - Questions on Implementing Capacity  In PTF's series of "Knowledge" articles, Willem Struben, PTF Adviser for South Asia, Africa, LAC and Colby Pacheco, PTF Program Manager, draw some lessons from project experience and conclude: Donors must be especially rigorous in identifying and assessing the implementing capacity of civil society organizations CSOs seeking support. There are many CSOs with a determination to improve governance in their countries, but do they have the capacity to do so? Screening grant applicants in this regard can be difficult, even though networking with other donors can be useful – the obstacles here, however, should not be underestimated.
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Anti- corruption group joins call for probe into P3.8-B license plate deal

Anti- corruption group joins call for probe into P3.8-B license plate deal | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

An anti-corruption group on Monday joined the call for the government to look into the questionable P3.8-billion contract for license plates.

In a letter to Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya and members of the Bids and Awards Committee, Ka Leon Peralta,  Chairman of the Anti-Trapo Movement of the Philippines (ATM), corroborated  earlier allegations of irregularity in the financial submissions  of J. Knieriem B.V. Goes (JKG) in the bidding for the Department of Transportation and Communications-Land Transportation Office (DOTC-LTO) Vehicle License Plate Standardization Project made by the Action for Consumerism and Transparency for Nation Building (ACTION), a concerned consumer advocacy group, against the Dutch-based bidder.

Peralta said an investigation is necessary to determine the extent of the irregularity and to validate the claims made by ACTION.

The ATM said its research showed that
JKG and its mother company H3 B.V. Goes are a single company named J. Knieriem B.V. and one of seven subsidiaries with varied nature of businesses of the Holding Company of H3 B.V. Goes in The Netherlands.

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Liu Zhijun, China's ex-railway minister, sentenced to death for corruption

Liu Zhijun, China's ex-railway minister, sentenced to death for corruption | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

A Beijing court has sentenced China's former minister of railways Liu Zhijun to death, with a two-year reprieve, for bribery and abuse of power, China's state media reported on Monday, ending one of the country's highest-profile corruption cases in years.

Liu stood trial at Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court on 9 June for accepting £6m in bribes between 1986 and 2011 and using his position to help 11 people win promotions or lucrative contracts, according to the state newswire Xinhua. He had been formally accused in April.

The court also "deprived his political right for life and confiscated all his personal property", the newswire reported. Suspended death sentences in China are usually commuted to life imprisonment. The court's verdict will require Liu to spend at least 10 years in jail.

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Feds seek to jail wealthy CEO and others before their Medicare fraud sentencings - Miami-Dade - MiamiHerald.com

Feds seek to jail wealthy CEO and others before their Medicare fraud sentencings - Miami-Dade - MiamiHerald.com | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

For years, Karen Kallen-Zury has lived in a $2 million-plus home in the coastal community of Lighthouse Point, taken care of her family and run a lucrative healthcare business.

Now, the 60-year-old chief executive officer of Hollywood Pavilion, a psychiatric hospital once managed by her late father, confronts the bleak likelihood of spending the rest of her life in prison.

Convicted with three others of swindling Medicare by paying bribes for patient referrals, Kallen-Zury faces up to 170 years in prison at her Sept. 10 sentencing for a $67 million billing scam. The taxpayer-funded program paid about $40 million to her business, described as a “brothel of fraud” by prosecutors.

The Justice Department, raising fears that Kallen-Zury has secreted away money and could flee to Israel, has urged a federal judge to revoke her $3 million bond and put her behind bars as soon as possible.

Prosecutor Robert Zink said in court papers that trial evidence showed she made — “conservatively” — more than $10 million from the “fraud scheme.”

The prosecutor noted that her husband, Tamir Zury, is an Israeli citizen and has a bank account in his native country, and that the couple own a 37-foot luxury powerboat that could be used to flee the United States. The prosecutor also said Kallen-Zury transferred $1 million to her lawyer when she was charged with Medicare fraud last fall. And, he said her mother receives more than $1 million a year from annuities.

“Her lifestyle will change drastically in prison,” Zink wrote in a motion filed Wednesday to revoke bail for Kallen-Zury and two other defendants. “This creates an incentive to flee.”


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/07/05/3487011/feds-seek-to-jail-wealthy-ceo.html#storylink=cpy

 

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Broker-Dealers: Pay Attention to Government Audits and Examinations | Corruption, Crime & Compliance

Broker-Dealers: Pay Attention to Government Audits and Examinations | Corruption, Crime & Compliance | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

Since 2010, FCPA practitioners have been crying out about FCPA risks in the securities industry.

First, in 2010, it was the SEC letters issued to various investment banks, private equity and hedge funds.  The SEC was concerned about anti-corruption compliance and interactions with sovereign wealth funds which fall within the “foreign official” definition in the FCPA.  The SEC’s letters were issued, the questions were asked, materials were submitted by the recipients and not much has happened since then.

Second, in 2011, the Serious Fraud Office sent shudders through the private equity and hedge fund industry that the UK Bribery Act was going to be aggressively enforced against private equity companies.  As we all know, the UK bribery Act has been an enforcement whimper and nothing much has happened.

Third, the BANDES enforcement action around Direct Access Partners, which originated from a routine SEC examination, resulted in criminal charges against four individuals, including the “foreign official” from Venezuela who was charged with Travel Act violations.

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Scotland Yard rocked by corruption scandal

Scotland Yard rocked by corruption scandal | Global Corruption | Scoop.it
 

Scotland Yard, one of the world’s premier police forces, has been rocked by a major corruption scandal over claims that some of its most sensitive units had officers in the pay of Britain’s gangsters.

Three Metropolitan police whistleblowers say David Hunt, a London businessman named by a judge last week as the head of an organised crime network, used “sleepers” inside the Yard to help him evade justice for three decades.

According to an expose by ‘The Sunday Times’, Hunt used a network of corrupt serving and former officers and details of the claims can be revealed for the first time after the newspaper won a libel victory against Hunt last week.

“I am satisfied that it was reasonable for him (’Sunday Times’ journalist Michael Gillard) to describe the claimant (Hunt) as a violent and dangerous criminal and the head of an organised crime group implicated in murder, drug trafficking and fraud,” said Justice Simon in his ruling in the libel case at London’s High Court earlier this week.

The allegations against corrupt police officers are contained in a 54—page legal letter sent to Metropolitan police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan—Howe by three of his own officers.

The officers, all seasoned detectives in east London, tried to take on Hunt in the run—up to the 2012 Olympic Games but claim to have been stymied by their corrupt colleagues.

Their document — which the Met says is now being “assessed” — names four of the five police officers alleged to be working for Hunt’s organised crime group. They include a senior detective who held several sensitive roles.

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KLA - Koury Lopes Advogados

KLA - Koury Lopes Advogados | Global Corruption | Scoop.it

The 2010 Draft Bill 6.826, which punishes companies for acts of corruption, was finally approved this past Thursday, July 4, by the Brazilian Senate. After the Federal Senate, the next step is its sanction by President Dilma Rousseff.
The bill, which has become known as the  "Clean Company Law" or "Anti-Corruption Law", provides for the civil and administrative responsibility of companies for acts of corruption. In other words, the new law, if approved, will allow punishment of the companies that practice corrupt acts against national or foreign public administration and will allow the indemnity for the damage caused to the public coffers by acts of improbity.
After several weeks of demonstrations all over Brazil against corruption, the president will very likely approve the bill.
In addition to its punitive aspect, the greatest innovation of the bill is to bring Brazil up-to-date with the developed countries in the area of prevention as it encourages the companies to adopt good practices and compliance (as compliance programs are not widely known in Brazil). These programs will stimulate companies to avoid infractions to the law and even correct errors by the so called leniency agreements whereby the infringing company may self-disclose its infractions seeking a reduction of penalties.

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