Monday, December 9, 2013 15:38
Last week we attended the Transparency International launch of the TI Corruption Perceptions Index. Many others have covered the latest corruption chart and the movers up and down. We were struck at the meeting by the focus on the enforcement angle to deter companies from bribing or more accurately to incentivise them to put in place anti-bribery controls. Companies facing the 'stick' of enforcement will be incentivised to take steps to prevent bribery, or so the argument goes. Some may. One speaker (the evening was conducted under Chatham House Rule) commented, in the context of preventing employees from bribery, that an incentive was worth many policies. The point being that a policy preventing bribery was ineffective if the management was only interested in revenue results. Put another way if the employee logic is, 'If I bribe I might get caught, If I get caught I might get fired, but if I miss my quarterly sales ...
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At Pinsent Masons annual regulatory conference SFO Director, David Green QC warned the SFO would focus on sector sweeps with its enhanced intelligence gathering function. Speaking to delegates he said: “I would like our intelligence capability to be far more effective, and that would certainly involve sectoral sweeps” Mr. Green has been developing the SFO's intelligence function since his arrival nearly two years ago. Referencing the Transparency International Bribe Payers Index and dealing with the question of where the SFO would look first Mr. Green warned he would prioritise sectors: ...“I would look at sectors that are most vulnerable , such as construction and public contracts, oil and gas.” The Public Works Contracts and Construction sector was reported to be the most corrupt in the Bribe Payers index. From construction Mr. Green said he'd work his way through the sector list, including, usual suspects, oil and gas and other extractives. In good news for the Agriculture industry ,Mr. Green ...
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News & what’s on
DPA's will be available from the beginning of March 2014 sources tell us. Just in time for the Spring. We understand that the Code of Practice relating to Deferred Prosecution Agreements will be published early next year with the rules relating to them being published in January. We understand the sentencing guidelines relating to corporates will likewise be published in January. In each case the January publication is, we understand, in readiness for a March 1 launch of the Deferred Prosecution Agreement regime. In the meantime, a little dicky bird tells us that Bribery Act prosecutions are on the cards 'soon' from the SFO. Read into that what you will. We were told to be patient, just a little bit longer... We have said for some time that Bribery Act prosecutions must be on the cards as the world watches and waits for the SFO rhetoric to convert into a real case. But. Do not mistake prosecution to equate to ...
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Bribery Act & Proceeds of Crime
YES, YES, YES, YEEES, YEEEEES, YEEEEESSSSS. But. SFO Director repeats benefits of Self Reporting. Again.
What Meg Ryan and David Green, SFO Director have in common. Speech of David Green CB QC Director of the SFO at Pinsent Masons and Legal Week Regulatory Reform and Enforcement Conference 24 October 2013 "I recently attended a private gathering of general counsel from a number of major multi-national corporations. I spoke on the subject of corporate self-reporting of instances of suspected criminality, including bribery and corruption. There was then a Q&A session, during which 2 attendees indicated that the advice they were receiving from their external lawyers was that such matters should NOT be reported to the SFO, because "the SFO was not as helpful as it used to be". There followed a vote on the issue, which was firmly in favour of self-reporting. Well they would, wouldn't they. I became DSFO in April 2012. It is now a year since I changed the published SFO guidance on self-reporting by corporates. The guidance I inherited ...
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Your Questions: Answered
Dear Barry & Richard, Will my company and my Board of Directors likely be prosecuted if they buy another company which has problems after doing limited due diligence? My company is considering buying a business. Unfortunately, we are unable to do much due diligence in advance of the sale as we will have to buy in an auction. The seller, has various interested potential purchasers, and has set up a data room. There is limited opportunity to ask more questions and anyway the deal must be done in a couple of weeks. We don't have much time to do any meaningful due diligence. Barry & Richard answer What you describe is a common problem. We are frequently asked to help businesses in similar circumstances to your own. As you say there is a limit to the due diligence that you can do in cases like this. Under the old Director of the SFO there was ...
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