The Fraud Board

The Fraud Board

Commentary on current cases, news stories and legal developments in international business crime and regulation

McGuireWoods’ London Government, Regulatory and Criminal Investigations Group

Rose Parlane

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Facilitation payments: Australia consults on proposed ban

Facilitation payments, FCPA, Public officials
Section 70.4 of the Criminal Code sets out a defence for facilitation payments, which is inconsistent with the international trend towards the prohibition of such payments and as highlighted in the consultation paper, puts Australian companies at greater risk of being found liable for acting outside the law e.g. where the operations of Australian companies also fall within the scope of the UK Bribery Act.… Continue Reading

SFO civil settlement with Macmillan: cooperation and cost shifting assists the SFO

At a time when many are questioning the SFO's budget and ability to fund and pursue multiple large scale corruption investigations, the settlement with Macmillan demonstrates that SFO investigations can reach an outcome in a timely and cost effective manner. The model followed for the Macmillan investigation is likely to be replicated for investigations into offences under the Bribery Act.… Continue Reading

Facilitation payments: SFO creates its own guidelines

Compliance programmes, Enforcement, Guidance
For those organisations that are doing their best to avoid making facilitation payments, but are finding it difficult to stop making them altogether, this insight into the SFO's thinking will offer some limited breathing room. However, the clear message from these six points is that the SFO will be expecting to see a positive approach by organisations towards the goal of eradicating such payments from their operations.… Continue Reading

Facilitation payments – to pay or not to pay: a difficult question?

Public officials
Small, one off payments are, on their own, unlikely to attract the attention of the SFO. While there is no de minimis limit in the Bribery Act and therefore no guarantees with respect to low value payments, the fact remains that small infractions will not justify the time and cost involved in prosecuting. However, for those organisations that routinely make facilitation payments (even though each payment might itself only be small), there is a risk that continuing to make such payments will result in prosecution under the Bribery Act.… Continue Reading

BRIEFING NOTE – UK Bribery Act, Section 9 Guidance

Associated persons, Compliance programmes, Due diligence, Gifts & hospitality, Guidance
The Government has released Guidance on the Act, which is intended to help organisations understand how the Act will operate and how to deal with the risks of bribery. The Guidance gives insights into how the Act might be interpreted, but does not give assurances. It suggests procedures that might be adequate, but does not set down rules.… Continue Reading