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WANTED: Brazilian Enforcement of Anti-Bribery Law

Posted on the 25 November 2014 by Angelicolaw @AngelicoLaw

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has recently issued a report on the implementation of Phase 3 of the OECD’s Anti-Bribery Convention in Brazil. The report stresses to Brazilian authorities the need to continue to act on the subject of corruption, particularly through increasing enforcement efforts. Brazil’s recently enacted Anti-Bribery Law was seen as a diligent move in the right direction; however, the law will need to be enforced efficiently in order to be effective.

The OECD included eight pages of recommendations to the Brazilian government in the report, as well as a timeline in which actions are to be taken and reported on. Many of the recommendations revolve around the need to clarify pieces of the new law, in order to provide better detection, reporting, and prosecution of offenders. The OECD cites the low number of allegations (fourteen), the number of indictments (nine), and the number of on-going investigations (three) as a cause for concern.

The OECD’s report also states that while there are many tools available to Brazilian authorities, few of these tools are likely known to the public. For example, cooperative and more lenient agreements might be made with individuals or companies who self-report. By making businesses more aware of this fact, and encouraging companies to create internal procedures to make bribery detection more successful, an increase in indictments might be possible.

Within a year and a half, Brazil will be required to submit a written report, documenting the progress that has been seen in implementing the key suggestions of the OECD. These suggestions include clarification in the definition of bribery (to include promises, offers or payments in return for acts outside an officer’s authorizations) and measures to ensure that both law enforcement agencies and prosecutors are prepared to work together through additional training and resource procurement.

A follow-up report will also be required in two years, as is required for other Working Group members of the OECD. The follow-up report will be made publicly available as well.


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