Part 1 of this post lists 21 countries plus the Canadian province of Quebec that have taken measures to get corporations to join the fight against corruption. Thanks to a bad case of jet lag, the post’s author ran out of steam before explaining what he meant by a company’s “joining the fight” or how countries got them to join it. Herewith an explanation of both along with my apologies to readers puzzled by part 1.
To begin, a table summarizing the laws to which part 1 referred along with summaries of bills pending in the Irish and Vietnamese legislatures appears here: National Compliance Rules. (Thanks to readers who caught errors in the part 1 list; similar scrutiny of the table solicited.)
As the table shows, the laws referenced require — or provide incentives for — companies under their jurisdiction to prevent their employees from paying bribes or engaging in other forms of corrupt conduct. Some laws prescribe in detail the elements such an anticorruption compliance program should contain; others leave it to regulations or the courts to decide what companies must do. With the October 2016 publication of ISO 37001 setting standards for corporate antibribery programs, most authorities will likely converge around the elements it recommends. The recommendations are sensible and quite consciously track the experience of those countries that required corporate compliance programs, especially the United States, where guidelines on what constitutes an “effective” compliance program, drafted to help courts when deciding the culpability of corporations for the corrupt acts of employees and agents, have been in force since 2004.
Where national corporate compliance laws differ is in how countries “encourage” companies subject to their laws to institute a compliance program. The table reveals several approaches. Continue reading