Anticorruption Laws Sweeping Across the Globe
With the rollout of a new agency to combat corruption in France and the implementation of anticorruption legislation in Brazil, it appears that the landmark UK Bribery Act and the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) are paving the way for legal reforms across the globe.
From the Experts
Amit Katyal, Corporate Counsel
These two statutes, with which corporate counsel and compliance officers have become intimately acquainted, have long been regarded as the pinnacles of anticorruption legislation. For years they stood alone, but now in addition to France and Brazil, a dozen countries are planning to follow suit with their own legislation.
Here’s a snapshot of what’s going on:
FRANCE’S NEW ANTICORRUPTION OFFICE
Domestic scandals prompted the French government to examine new corruption controls last year. Following investigations into financial corruption, accounting fraud and tax evasion among government officials last year, French President Francois Holland announced the creation of a new enforcement body: the Central Office Against Corruption, Financial and Fiscal Offenses. The office’s authority includes white-collar crimes, financial fraud, political finance fraud, corruption and conflicts of interest.
The office was endowed with more authority than other French regulator. Unlike other financial regulators in the country, it has the autonomy to initiate new investigations and enforcement without requiring permission from the public prosecutor’s office.
The creation of this office is also a result of France’s financial reforms implemented after the financial crisis of 2008, similar to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force.
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