Anti bribery and corruption compliance (sometimes called ABC compliance) is important to your organisation because there are significant risks of non-compliance, but also because bribery and corruption disempowers people and destroys economic growth and opportunity. You must have an anti-compliance compliance program in place that never ends. If you don’t have one, you must put one in place. If you already have one, it can always be improved.
What Anti Bribery and Corruption Laws are there?
- OECD’s Code on Anti-Bribery & Corruption
- The Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act (PCCA)
- There are many others.
What steps should you take to comply?
You will reduce your anti-bribery and corruption risk profile significantly if you;
- demonstrate that you have an effective anti-bribery and corruption policy and procedures and that you comply with your corporate responsibilities,
- demonstrate the application of an effective anti-bribery and corruption compliance program,
- be aware of and implement current best practice,
- effectively manage the risk of potential acts of non–compliance and any actual event of non-compliance through incident response,
- avoid excessive time being spent on after the fact inquiries, investigations, difficulties as well as the associated legal costs and business reputational risks involved by taking timely preventative action,
- keep your board of directors continually updated and informed of relevant developments in anti-bribery and corruption laws, rules, codes and standards, including any change to them,
- facilitate effective and responsible whistleblowing within your organisation with a whistleblowing policy.
What are the Penalties for Non-compliance?
Legal penalties that can be imposed or consequences for persons found guilty of corruption are severe and could include:
- Sentences up to a maximum of life imprisonment, and
- Inclusion on the Register for Tender Defaulters.
The other serious implications include:
- Reputation damage
- Losing customers (and employees) and inability to attract new ones
But your main motivation for complying with the PCCA should be to protect people and our society from the serious harm caused by those involved in corrupt activities.