Any company doing business abroad or with domestic government officials is potentially exposed to the application of anti-bribery and corruption legislation.
Surveys of business executives indicate a significant number of them have encountered some form of actual or attempted bribery or corrupt activity. Increasingly, authorities have devoted significant resources to the enforcement of anti-bribery and corruption laws. Indeed, as a result of international trends towards tougher legislation, as well as increased, and increasingly cooperative, enforcement of those laws in the US, UK, Canada and internationally, running afoul of anti-bribery and corruption laws (and related money-laundering, securities related offences and proceeds of crime legislation), raises a serious compliance risk that companies must address as a business priority in an informed, consistent and pro-active manner.
With Canadian courts imposing criminal penalties on companies including fines in the millions of dollars and jail on senior executives, it is essential for companies to take action to minimize risk. Practicing strong anti-bribery and corruption corporate hygiene can save significant business costs and potentially harmful reputation exposure, from which a company may not recover.
In addition, companies found to have violated anti-bribery and corruption laws may be debarred for years, perhaps permanently, from bidding on contract work.