Anti-Corruption

Last verified on Tuesday 3rd October 2017

Ecuador

Veronica Yepez and Juan Francisco González
Pérez Bustamante & Ponce

    Laws

  1. 1.

    What laws or regulations in your jurisdiction prohibit the offering, payment, or receipt of bribes by: domestic government officials; foreign government officials; or other individuals, such as commercial counterparties?

  2. The Constitution

    The Ecuadorian Constitution directly addresses corruption (articles 3.8, 83.8 and 233) and provides that Ecuadorians have (i) an obligation to manage state assets in accordance with the law and (ii) an affirmative duty to report acts of corruption.

    Criminal Code

    The Criminal Code contains several offences that relate to the offering, payment and receipt of bribes by domestic government officials, including: bribery, influence peddling, embezzlement, unlawful enrichment and extortion. Private individuals involved in the prohibited conducts are also subject to prosecution (Criminal Code article 280; Constitution article 233). There is no statute of limitations for these criminal offences (Criminal Code article 16.4 and Constitution article 233).

    Competition law

    Corruption-related activities that also constitute violations of Ecuador’s Competition Law may be subject to investigation by Ecuador’s Competition authority and result in fines for corporate entities.

    Other laws

    Two bodies of law empower the public administration to administratively sanction government officials who seek or accept bribes. First, the Public Service Law (Organic Law of Public Service) provides administrative sanctions for public servants who request or receive gifts, rewards, presents, contributions in kind or in money, or privileges or advantages because of his or her public position. Second, the Public Contracts Law (Organic Law of Public Contracts) empowers the Office of the Comptroller General and other government entities that exercise public control to investigate and prosecute government officials in cases of corruption related to public contracts.

  3. 2.

    To what extent, and under what circumstances, do the anti-corruption laws in your jurisdiction apply to corporate entities, whether based principally in your jurisdiction or elsewhere?

  4. Ecuador adopted a new Criminal Code in 2014. Although the Code created criminal liability for corporate entities for certain crimes, it did not do so for violations of the corruption-related crimes discussed in question 1. As such, the anti-corruption laws in Ecuador’s Criminal Code do not apply to corporate entities, regardless of where they are headquartered.

    Similarly, competition laws do apply to corporate entities and may result in administrative fines imposed on corporate entities. 

  5. 3.

    To what extent, and under what circumstances, do the anti-corruption laws in your jurisdiction apply to individuals, whether resident in your jurisdiction or elsewhere?

  6. The Criminal Code and the Ecuadorian Constitution (article 233) impose criminal liability for domestic public servants and private individuals involved in bribery, influence peddling, embezzlement, unlawful enrichment and extortion. 

    Individuals, regardless of nationality, are equally liable in Ecuador if the illicit activity is perpetrated on Ecuadorian territory or abroad under certain circumstances such as if the illicit activity that is perpetrated abroad has an effect in Ecuador and if the illicit activity has been perpetrated by Ecuadorian government officials.

  7. 4.

    How do the anti-corruption laws in your jurisdiction define foreign government officials?

  8. Anti-corruption laws in Ecuador do not explicitly define who can be considered a "foreign government official".

    A domestic government official is defined as any person, regardless of form or title, that provides services or work in the public sector, including at companies owned or created by the state (Organic Law of Public Service, article 4).

  9. 5.

    What level of knowledge or intent is required to prove a violation of the anti-corruption laws in your jurisdiction?

  10. The anti-corruption crimes in the Criminal Code are not strict liability offences. To prove a violation, a defendant must have intended to cause harm, either by action or by omission. Persons who suffer mental disorders and other types of disabilities are deemed not to have the willingness to cause harm.

    The applicable burden of proof at trial is guilty beyond reasonable doubt. 

  11. 6.

    Do the anti-corruption laws in your jurisdiction prohibit facilitating payments? (That is, small payments to expedite or to secure the performance of a routine government action to which a company is entitled, such as obtaining permits, processing visas, utility services, customs clearance, police protection.)

  12. Yes, facilitation payments are prohibited under the Criminal Code, article 280.

  13. 7.

    What affirmative defences are available with respect to the anti-corruption laws in your jurisdiction?

  14. Under Ecuadorian law there are no affirmative defences with respect to anti-corruption laws akin to those under the FCPA.

    However, under the Ecuadorian Criminal Code, self-defence, insanity, statute of limitations and state of necessity are considered affirmative defences. 

    Under the Criminal Code, in order for a conviction to be issued, the conduct under investigation must match exactly with the conduct described in the law as a crime or offence. Therefore, defendants usually seek to differentiate the conduct under prosecution from the conduct described in the Criminal Code as punishable.

  15. 8.

    What are the maximum potential fines or other penalties for violating the anti-corruption laws in your jurisdiction?

  16. Individuals found to have violated the anti-corruption laws are subject to two types of criminal penalties: imprisonment and prohibition to exercise public office (for a domestic government official involved). The Criminal Code does not include fines as a possible penalty for corruption-related crimes.

    For the crime of bribery (Criminal Code article 280), any person who offers or pays a bribe to a public servant or a person acting under state authority, as well as the bribe recipient, will be subject to imprisonment for up to seven years.

     The remaining anti-corruption crimes (articles 278, 279, 281, 285 and 286) impose criminal penalties, primarily to public servants and others acting under state authority. However, the Criminal Code and the Constitution (article 233) extends criminal liability for these crimes to private individuals. The penalties are the following:

    • for the crime of embezzlement (article 278), violators are subject to imprisonment for up to 13 years. Additionally, a person who is found guilty of embezzlement will be unable to exercise public office for life;
    • for the crime of influence peddling (articles 285 and 286), violators are subject to imprisonment for a period from three to five years. 
    • for the crime of unlawful enrichment (article 279), violators are subject to imprisonment for up to 10 years; and
    • for the crime of extortion (article 281), violators are subject to imprisonment for up to seven years.

    The Criminal Code excludes criminal responsibility for corporate entities in regard to corruption-related crimes. 

  17. 9.

    Is there any pending legislation related to anti-corruption in your jurisdiction?

  18. On June 2017, the Ecuadorian government announced that it would implement ISO 37.001 in its public procurement system. It is unclear at this time how ISO 37.00 will be implemented.

    Enforcement

  19. 10.

    Are corporate entities and individuals that violate the anti-corruption laws in your jurisdiction subject to criminal, administrative or civil liability, or a combination thereof?

  20. Corporate entities are not subject to criminal prosecution or civil enforcement actions. As discussed above, the corruption-related crimes only apply to individuals. 

    Corrupt conduct that also constitutes a violation of Ecuador’s competition law can subject a corporate entity to investigation by the Competition Authority and could result in administrative fines. 

    Individuals that violate anti-corruption laws in Ecuador may be subject to criminal, administrative and civil liability.  In regard to criminal liability, individuals may be subject to imprisonment as detailed in question 8; additionally, public servants will be prohibited from exercising public office and may be subject to civil indemnification actions initiated by the government.

  21. 11.

    Which prosecutors or other government agencies may bring enforcement actions under your jurisdiction’s anti-corruption laws?

  22. There are four Ecuadorian agencies that are relevant when it comes to anti-corruption matters.

    First, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, has prosecutorial authority. Two other agencies (the Office of the Comptroller General and the Council of Citizen Participation and Social Control) have the power to investigate allegations of corruption in the public sector, impose administrative sanctions to the government officials found to have engaged in wrongdoing and refer their findings to the Public Prosecutor’s Office. Finally, the Competition Regulator may investigate potential cases of corruption that also constitutes violation of competition laws, and impose administrative sanctions, and refer its findings to the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

    Below see further description of the relevant agencies:

    Prosecutorial authority

    The Public Prosecutor’s Office is in charge of enforcing criminal anti-corruption laws. This office has discretion to investigate and prosecute criminal allegations. Persons that have information about the perpetration of corruption related crimes must report that information to the Public Prosecutor’s Office. 

    Investigation and referral authorities

    The Office of the Comptroller General

    The Office of the Comptroller General has the power to control, supervise and audit the actions performed by public entities, public servants and by private entities and private officials that use public resources. The Office of the Comptroller General also has the capacity to impose sanctions, remove public servants and to inform the Public Prosecutor’s Office when there are indications of criminal actions. If the Office of the Comptroller General concludes that an act of corruption has been perpetrated at a specific government entity, it must file a report with the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

    The Council of Citizen Participation and Social Control

    The Counsel of Citizen Participation and Social Control is a government entity that has the following powers: setting the mechanisms to promote transparency and anti-corruption policies; investigating probable cases of corruption in the public sector; requesting assistance from public entities when cases of corruption arise; and requesting from the judiciary to take actions to stop acts of corruption. For the execution of anti-corruption matters, the Counsel acts through the Secretariat for Transparency and Fight Against Corruption.

    Competition Regulator

    The Competition Regulator is the government entity in charge of controlling the correct operation of the market, preventing the abuse of market power by local and foreign operators and controlling market practices that may go against competition in detriment of consumers. The Competition Regulator may investigate and issue sanctions against undertakings for actions involving corrupt conduct that constitute a violation of applicable competition laws.

  23. 12.

    Have any multinational corporations or their domestic subsidiaries been subject to enforcement actions in your jurisdiction for domestic or foreign bribery violations?

  24. Under the Criminal Code, corporations cannot be subject to enforcement actions for domestic or foreign bribery violations because corporate entities cannot be held liable for anti-corruption-related crimes. 

    It was reported that the subsidiary of a Spanish company (Promocaledonian Ecuador SA) and its executives were investigated for allegedly bribing a member of the National Assembly (the Ecuadorian legislative body) and another public official in order to obtain the renewal of a contract for the installation of pipes in a water system facility. One executive of the company and the two public officials were found guilty of bribery and sentenced to three years in prison.

    Although the authorities announced that Promocaledonian was being investigated, it was unclear for what violation as corporate entities are not liable for corruption offences under the Criminal Code. In any event, no enforcement action has been announced against the company.   

  25. 13.

    Have the employees of any multinational corporations or their domestic subsidiaries been subject to enforcement actions by the authorities in your jurisdiction for domestic or foreign bribery violations?

  26. As discussed in question 12, one Promocaledonian Ecuador SA’s executive has been sentenced to three years in prison for paying bribes to a member of the National Assembly and another public official in order to obtain the renewal of a public contract. 

  27. 14.

    Have resolutions of anti-corruption enforcement actions with corporate entities resulted in settlements, such as deferred prosecution or non-prosecution agreements or leniency agreements?

  28. Anti-bribery enforcement with corporate entities is not possible in Ecuador because corporate entities are not criminally liable for corruption-related crimes.

    In addition, under Ecuadorian law, settlements are not permissible in the investigation phase in criminal matters. The Criminal Code does provide, however, for leniency in the sentencing phase if the guilty party cooperates with the local authorities or if the guilty party tries to minimise or avoid damage to the victim of the crime (article 45).

  29. 15.

    In recent years, have there been trials or other proceedings in which an individual or corporate entity has contested alleged violations of anti-corruption laws in your jurisdiction?

  30. Corporate entities cannot be accused of anti-corruption related crimes. However, multiple corporate entities are under investigation as vehicles for potential acts of corruption.

    In recent years, there have been several cases in which individuals have been the subject of prosecution in cases of bribery, embezzlement, money laundering and other corruption-related crimes. In these cases, and given the potential for a prison sentence, the accused will usually contest the allegations. The outcome of these cases has depended on several factors including the specific facts of each case. 

    The current Vice President of Ecuador, Jorge Glas, and other high-level government officials (including the former Minister of Renewable Energy Resources, the former Comptroller General, the former Public Prosecutor, and two Former Ministers of Hydrocarbons) and several private individuals are facing corruption-related investigations for bribery and money laundering in connection with  Odebrecht’s bribe payments to Ecuadorian government officials. Many of these processes are under way. In early October 2017, Vice President Glas was indicted and is in prison pending trial in connection with  the alleged receipt of bribes.

    The Ecuadorian Social Security Institute has been involved in multiple cases of unlawful enrichment and tax fraud. 469 persons, including its former president, are currently being investigated. Fifty-three persons have been detained and 21 have received sentence.

    In addition, 80 individuals, including current and former PetroEcuador employees (the national petroleum company) and private individuals that were doing business with PetroEcuador, have been investigated for corruption related crimes (bribery, contract overpricing, embezzlement, money laundering, unlawful enrichment and perjury). According to news sources, of those individuals, 42 have been charged and 16 have already been sentenced to prison terms as well as to pay restitution to PetroEcuador.  

    Other individuals that have been sentenced to prison include three former executives of the Ecuadorian Football Federation (money laundering) and two former high-level police commanders (bribery) for illegally selling passes to the Police Academy.

  31. 16.

    To what extent do the enforcement authorities provide incentives for companies to self-report known or suspected violations?

  32. Regulatory agencies have not issued policies or guidelines that may result in incentives for companies or individuals to self-report known or suspected violations. As noted, companies cannot be held liable for corruption-related crimes.

    The Criminal Code does explicitly include cooperation with the investigating authorities as a mitigating factor for sentencing (article 45).

    According to the Criminal Code, mitigating factors include the following:

    • trying to provide voluntary assistance to annul or reduce the consequences of the infraction;
    • voluntarily repairing the damage caused to the victim;
    • appearing before the authorities; and
    • effectively cooperating with the investigating authorities.

    The criminal judge who handles each case has discretion as how to apply these mitigating factors.  

  33. 17.

    To what extent do the enforcement authorities take into account a company’s level of cooperation with the government’s investigation or the strength of its compliance programme when considering whether to bring enforcement actions or when assessing penalties?

  34. Not applicable. Corporate entities cannot be held liable for corruption-related crimes.

    In Competition matters, the Competition Regulator will take into consideration a company’s level of cooperation to eliminate or reduce penalties.

  35. 18.

    To what extent and under what circumstances do the enforcement authorities provide incentives for whistle-blowers to report known or suspected anti-corruption violations?

  36. No law provides protection or financial incentives for whistle-blowers.

  37. 19.

    What has been the most significant fine or monetary penalty to date under the anti-corruption laws of your jurisdiction? 

  38. Individuals found guilty of corruption-related crimes are not subject to fines under the new Criminal Code. Fines against individuals under the previous Criminal Code were noticeably small, so, significant fines were never issued for anti-corruption related crimes.

  39. 20.

    Do the enforcement authorities use any other statutes to prosecute conduct related to bribery and corruption?

  40. As discussed in question 1, in addition to the Criminal Code, the Public Service Law and the Public Contracts Law can be used to sanction domestic government officials found to have engaged in bribery and corruption. Corrupt conduct that also violates competition laws can subject companies to administrative fines. 

    International cooperation

  41. 21.

    Have the enforcement authorities issued general guidance regarding compliance with and enforcement of the anti-corruption laws?

  42. Regulatory agencies have not issued general guidance in regard to compliance or enforcement of anti-corruption laws directed at private entities. 

    In January 2016, the Council of Citizen Participation and Social Control issued a Regulation for the submission and processing of reports of probable cases of corruption.

  43. 22.

    To what extent do authorities in your jurisdiction cooperate with foreign authorities in enforcing applicable anti-corruption laws?

  44. Ecuador has signed and ratified several multilateral conventions with regard to the fight against corruption, including the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. Both of these conventions promote cooperation between foreign regulators in matters of enforcement of anti-corruption laws.

    In December 2014, a meeting between all the Latin American and Caribbean countries (CELAC) took place in Quito, Ecuador at which the Quito Declaration was drafted. With the Quito Declaration, the 16 participating countries highlighted the relevance of fighting corruption in a more rigorous manner without impediments for its investigation, prosecution and punishment. The Quito Declaration will also seek to develop CELAC’s own evaluation as to each country’s efforts in the fight against corruption. It is still early to tell whether the Quito Declaration will promote further cooperation with foreign regulators in enforcing anti-corruption laws. 

  45. 23.

    Is there a formal understanding with authorities in other jurisdictions to share information and provide reciprocal assistance in enforcement matters?

  46. In addition to the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption which provide multilateral legal frameworks for the fight against corruption, Ecuador has signed agreements for reciprocal assistance in enforcement matters with several countries including Belgium, Cuba and Mexico.

    Investigations

  47. 24.

    Has the sharing of information with foreign authorities contributed to any enforcement actions in your jurisdiction?

  48. The Brazilian authorities have cooperated with the Ecuadorian authorities in regard to the Odebrecht case. As a result of this, in June 2017, the Ecuadorian authorities and Odebrecht along with a number of its executives, reached a cooperation agreement to provide information to the Ecuadorian Public Prosecutor’s Office. This information is already in the hands of the Public Prosecutor and is being used for the investigation in Ecuador. Cooperation with the Colombian authorities has also been reported. The Panamanian authorities cooperated with Ecuador’s Public Prosecutors Office in connection with the PetroEcuador corruption investigation.   

    International cooperation has also been successful in fighting other types of crimes such as human trafficking, drug trafficking and organised crime.

  49. 25.

    To what extent do the enforcement authorities consider principles of international double jeopardy in deciding whether to charge an individual or corporate entity with a local anti-corruption violation based on conduct underlying a foreign anti-corruption conviction?

  50. Under the Ecuadorian Constitution, a person cannot be judged twice for the same crime.  This constitutional provision generally extends to sentences issued in other jurisdictions.

    Risk areas

  51. 26.

    To what extent and under what circumstances do the applicable laws in your jurisdiction allow for extradition of your country’s nationals or foreign nationals charged or convicted of wrongdoing under anti-corruption laws in other jurisdictions?

  52. Under the Ecuadorian Constitution (article 79), Ecuadorian nationals cannot be extradited to other jurisdictions regardless of the nature of the crime.

  53. 27.

    Must publicly traded companies in your jurisdiction disclose pending investigations in their regulatory filings, or is such disclosure typical, even if not required?

  54. Publicly traded companies in Ecuador are not required to disclose pending investigations in their regulatory filings unless it can change the value of its stock.

    However, all past and present criminal and civil cases are considered public information and can be found on the Ecuadorian Judiciary webpage. Potential corruption cases under investigation can be found at the webpage of the Office of the Public Prosecutor.

    Compliance best practices

  55. 28.

    Have any companies publicly disclosed investigations relating to bribery or corruption issues within the past five years?

  56. Cardno, an Australian infrastructure services company, publicly disclosed that during an internal investigation it had found corruption-related issues in its Ecuadorian subsidiary Caminosca SA. According to the available information, Caminosca would have paid bribes to government officials.

  57. 29.

    Which industries or business sectors in your jurisdiction are most vulnerable to public corruption?

  58. The business sectors that are most often exposed to claims of corruption are the natural resources industry, the construction industry, real estate business, healthcare and the pharmaceutical industry. 

  59. 30.

    Is it common in your jurisdiction for companies to engage third parties to assist in interacting with government officials, whether in connection with sales and marketing or with obtaining permits, licences or other government approval?

  60. It is common for companies to engage third parties to assist with interaction with government officials and entities, especially to obtain government licences and approvals. Most types of businesses in Ecuador are highly regulated; therefore, companies require professional services in many areas to comply with all regulatory and legal obligations. Typical services retained by companies include customs brokers, various forms of consulting and lobbying. In Ecuador, lobbying is not regulated and, therefore, can be exercised like any other professional services offered to companies requiring such services.

    Other

  61. 31.

    Is it common for companies in your jurisdiction to have an internal hotline or other mechanisms by which anonymous reports or other compliance questions or concerns may be raised?

  62. It is rare for local companies to have an internal mechanism that can be used anonymously for reporting compliance issues. 

    Even though, under the Criminal Code, corporate entities cannot be held liable for corruption-related crimes, they can be held criminally liable for the actions and omissions of their legal representatives, employees, agents, etc, that commit other crimes such as human trafficking or environmental crimes. This potential for liability might make the use of these reporting mechanisms more common in the near future.

    Currently, the companies that are likely to use such reporting mechanisms are multinational and include foreign companies that have to comply with foreign anti-corruption statutes.

  63. 32.

    Is it common practice for companies in your jurisdiction to conduct anti-corruption due diligence before engaging third parties, such as agents, consultants and distributors?

  64. While companies in Ecuador seldom perform anti-corruption due diligence, we have observed that companies are starting to understand its importance before engaging third parties.

    The companies that most commonly request anti-corruption due diligence are the multinational and foreign companies that must comply with the laws and regulations of other jurisdictions. 

  65. 33.

    Is it common practice for companies in your jurisdiction to conduct anti-corruption due diligence in the course of mergers, acquisitions or joint ventures? 

  66. It is common for foreign companies to conduct transactional-related anti-corruption due diligence in connection with Ecuadorian targets. This is particularly the case in high-risk sectors such as oil and mining, the food and beverage industry and the pharmaceutical industry.

  67. 34.

    Have shareholders of publicly traded companies in your jurisdiction initiated civil actions related to any company’s violation of anti-corruption laws?

  68. Anti-corruption provisions contained in the Ecuadorian Criminal Code are not applicable to corporations. Therefore, strictly speaking, companies cannot violate anti-corruption laws. 

  69. 35.

    In the past three years, what do you view as the most notable legislative, regulatory or enforcement developments with respect to the anti-corruption landscape in your jurisdiction?

  70. The implementation of the new Criminal Code, which entered into force in August 2014, is the most relevant legislative development in the past three years. For the first time, corporate entities can be held criminally liable, although as discussed earlier, not for anti-corruption related crimes. In addition, the new Criminal Code introduced influence peddling (articles 285 and 286) as a new criminal offence. Interestingly, the new code removed fines and money penalties from the potential consequences of violating the anti-corruption laws. 

    The fact that corporate entities are now criminally liable for certain offences is a development that poses great responsibility and great challenges to companies that operate in Ecuador. This change has created a new environment in which companies will have to have a greater awareness of the actions of their employees and agents.

    In the past year, we have observed a substantial increase in enforcement actions regarding corruption-related offences. Multiple current and former high-level government officials, as well as private individuals are currently being investigated by the Ecuadorian authorities. Sixteen individuals have already been sentenced to prison. In October 2017, the current Vice President was indicted and is in prison pending trial in connection with the alleged receipt of bribes from Odebrecht.

  71. 36.

    Describe any other significant challenges (eg, legal or cultural issues) that impact anti-corruption compliance, due diligence or internal investigations in your jurisdiction.

  72. Ecuador faces three very relevant challenges in regard to the enforcement of anti-corruption regulations: (i) Corporate entities cannot be held criminally liable for corruption-related crimes; (ii) A still slow enforcement of the anti-corruption laws. While we are noticing a substantial increase in corruption-related investigations, it is yet to be seen if such investigations will result in criminal charges and penalties against top executives and high-level government officials; and (iii) Breaking with a culture of corruption where bribes are still perceived as permissible.

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Questions

    Laws

  1. 1.

    What laws or regulations in your jurisdiction prohibit the offering, payment, or receipt of bribes by: domestic government officials; foreign government officials; or other individuals, such as commercial counterparties?


  2. 2.

    To what extent, and under what circumstances, do the anti-corruption laws in your jurisdiction apply to corporate entities, whether based principally in your jurisdiction or elsewhere?


  3. 3.

    To what extent, and under what circumstances, do the anti-corruption laws in your jurisdiction apply to individuals, whether resident in your jurisdiction or elsewhere?


  4. 4.

    How do the anti-corruption laws in your jurisdiction define foreign government officials?


  5. 5.

    What level of knowledge or intent is required to prove a violation of the anti-corruption laws in your jurisdiction?


  6. 6.

    Do the anti-corruption laws in your jurisdiction prohibit facilitating payments? (That is, small payments to expedite or to secure the performance of a routine government action to which a company is entitled, such as obtaining permits, processing visas, utility services, customs clearance, police protection.)


  7. 7.

    What affirmative defences are available with respect to the anti-corruption laws in your jurisdiction?


  8. 8.

    What are the maximum potential fines or other penalties for violating the anti-corruption laws in your jurisdiction?


  9. 9.

    Is there any pending legislation related to anti-corruption in your jurisdiction?


  10. Enforcement

  11. 10.

    Are corporate entities and individuals that violate the anti-corruption laws in your jurisdiction subject to criminal, administrative or civil liability, or a combination thereof?


  12. 11.

    Which prosecutors or other government agencies may bring enforcement actions under your jurisdiction’s anti-corruption laws?


  13. 12.

    Have any multinational corporations or their domestic subsidiaries been subject to enforcement actions in your jurisdiction for domestic or foreign bribery violations?


  14. 13.

    Have the employees of any multinational corporations or their domestic subsidiaries been subject to enforcement actions by the authorities in your jurisdiction for domestic or foreign bribery violations?


  15. 14.

    Have resolutions of anti-corruption enforcement actions with corporate entities resulted in settlements, such as deferred prosecution or non-prosecution agreements or leniency agreements?


  16. 15.

    In recent years, have there been trials or other proceedings in which an individual or corporate entity has contested alleged violations of anti-corruption laws in your jurisdiction?


  17. 16.

    To what extent do the enforcement authorities provide incentives for companies to self-report known or suspected violations?


  18. 17.

    To what extent do the enforcement authorities take into account a company’s level of cooperation with the government’s investigation or the strength of its compliance programme when considering whether to bring enforcement actions or when assessing penalties?


  19. 18.

    To what extent and under what circumstances do the enforcement authorities provide incentives for whistle-blowers to report known or suspected anti-corruption violations?


  20. 19.

    What has been the most significant fine or monetary penalty to date under the anti-corruption laws of your jurisdiction? 


  21. 20.

    Do the enforcement authorities use any other statutes to prosecute conduct related to bribery and corruption?


  22. International cooperation

  23. 21.

    Have the enforcement authorities issued general guidance regarding compliance with and enforcement of the anti-corruption laws?


  24. 22.

    To what extent do authorities in your jurisdiction cooperate with foreign authorities in enforcing applicable anti-corruption laws?


  25. 23.

    Is there a formal understanding with authorities in other jurisdictions to share information and provide reciprocal assistance in enforcement matters?


  26. Investigations

  27. 24.

    Has the sharing of information with foreign authorities contributed to any enforcement actions in your jurisdiction?


  28. 25.

    To what extent do the enforcement authorities consider principles of international double jeopardy in deciding whether to charge an individual or corporate entity with a local anti-corruption violation based on conduct underlying a foreign anti-corruption conviction?


  29. Risk areas

  30. 26.

    To what extent and under what circumstances do the applicable laws in your jurisdiction allow for extradition of your country’s nationals or foreign nationals charged or convicted of wrongdoing under anti-corruption laws in other jurisdictions?


  31. 27.

    Must publicly traded companies in your jurisdiction disclose pending investigations in their regulatory filings, or is such disclosure typical, even if not required?


  32. Compliance best practices

  33. 28.

    Have any companies publicly disclosed investigations relating to bribery or corruption issues within the past five years?


  34. 29.

    Which industries or business sectors in your jurisdiction are most vulnerable to public corruption?


  35. 30.

    Is it common in your jurisdiction for companies to engage third parties to assist in interacting with government officials, whether in connection with sales and marketing or with obtaining permits, licences or other government approval?


  36. Other

  37. 31.

    Is it common for companies in your jurisdiction to have an internal hotline or other mechanisms by which anonymous reports or other compliance questions or concerns may be raised?


  38. 32.

    Is it common practice for companies in your jurisdiction to conduct anti-corruption due diligence before engaging third parties, such as agents, consultants and distributors?


  39. 33.

    Is it common practice for companies in your jurisdiction to conduct anti-corruption due diligence in the course of mergers, acquisitions or joint ventures? 


  40. 34.

    Have shareholders of publicly traded companies in your jurisdiction initiated civil actions related to any company’s violation of anti-corruption laws?


  41. 35.

    In the past three years, what do you view as the most notable legislative, regulatory or enforcement developments with respect to the anti-corruption landscape in your jurisdiction?


  42. 36.

    Describe any other significant challenges (eg, legal or cultural issues) that impact anti-corruption compliance, due diligence or internal investigations in your jurisdiction.


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