TORONTO--(Anti-corruption legislation casts a global net; Don’t get caught because you don’t know the rules, a white paper designed to help globally-active Canadian companies navigate an increasingly complex web of international regulations and help protect themselves from the risk of non-compliance in the face of increasingly aggressive enforcement.)--Grant Thornton LLP today released
“As this risk landscape expands, companies need to understand local and international laws so they can identify, avoid and respond to unintended complicity.”
Canadian companies are increasingly in the headlines for suspected bribery and corruption activities, making this a front-page issue. Furthermore, countries around the world are enacting and enforcing complex regulations around corruption and bribery – in particular, The US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and now the new UK Bribery Act – potentially exposing Canadian companies to new risks ranging from fines and reputational damage to jail time for convicted individuals.
Most significantly, these foreign regulations are not aimed exclusively at the domestic companies of these nations, making it clear that the fight against corruption transcends national borders and has become a global imperative. Regulators are developing sophisticated techniques and procedures for taking offenders to court, and they are defining jurisdiction more broadly than ever before. Under certain circumstances, even companies without operations in those countries can be the subject of investigations.
“Companies must understand that these regulators mean business. Canadian companies operating in global markets are subject to multiple foreign laws and are at risk on a number of fronts, and that now includes bribery and corruption,” says Sandy Boucher, a seasoned fraud and corruption investigator with significant international experience and currently a Senior Investigator with Grant Thornton LLP in Toronto. “As this risk landscape expands, companies need to understand local and international laws so they can identify, avoid and respond to unintended complicity.”
Canadian companies must also keep pace with current and future changes in Canadian legislation, the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (CFPOA). Even with this domestic legislation, Canada has been singled out as the worst offender amongst G7 nations in their lax response to foreign corruption and Canadian companies are now starting to make international headlines. International pressure is increasing, and as a result, companies are seeing increasing enforcement of the CFPOA’s existing measures. Also, given the rapidly growing cooperation between governments to prosecute corruption, there is the strong potential that the Canadian government will bow to pressure to create new, more aggressive domestic regulations that are more in line with international trends in enforcement.
The Anti-corruption legislation casts a global net white paper also includes steps that Canadian companies can undertake to address known risks and help prepare for potentially even more broad global legislation in the future. These include:
- Understanding the specifics of the laws to which your company might be subject, especially if operating in areas of the world where the risk of bribery and corruption are high.
- Understand the risks and penalties for your company and its officers and directors.
- Using a detailed risk analysis to help understand some of the specific risks facing your company.
- Developing and implementing an effective anti-corruption policy with management “buy in” and responsibilities. Designing and implementing a proactive anti-corruption program and controls to meet the challenges and requirements for your company’s specific situation.
- Ensuring that all staff and entities acting on your behalf are trained in your anti-corruption policies and procedures.
Anti-corruption legislation casts a global net; Don’t get caught because you don’t know the rules is available for download. To view a video of Sandy Boucher, Senior Investigator, and Jennifer Fiddian-Green, a partner with Grant Thornton's Forensic Accounting and Investigative Services practice, speaking about anti-corruption legislation developments, please visit our YouTube page. Sandy Boucher, Senior Investigator, Grant Thornton, is available for interviews.
About Sandy Boucher
Sandy Boucher is a seasoned investigator with significant international experience. Born in England, he served with the Royal Hong Kong Police for twelve years before moving to Canada and joining the private sector in 1995. He has since worked on a wide range of cases around the world primarily focusing on fraud, corruption, background due diligence and litigation support work. He has particular experience in Asia, North America and the Caribbean, including the Salim Damji investigation, which traced almost $100 million in stolen funds across North America, the Caribbean and Europe, recovering $6 million in Canada and freezing over US$20 million in a Swiss bank. He has also led high level corruption investigations for a Caribbean government, training investigators and developing investigation protocols and systems. Sandy regularly addresses industry and related gatherings as a public speaker. He is fluent in colloquial Cantonese.
About Grant Thornton LLP
Grant Thornton LLP is a leading Canadian accounting and advisory firm providing audit, tax and advisory services to private and public organizations. Together with the Quebec firm Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton LLP, Grant Thornton in Canada has approximately 4,000 people in offices across Canada. Grant Thornton LLP is a Canadian member of Grant Thornton International Ltd, whose member firms operate in close to 100 countries worldwide.