André Rossi, Capital Alberto, 13 April 2013
New anti-corruption regulations require better compliance structures.
Brazil is getting less corrupt. According to a study released in 2012 by Transparency International, a German NGO, the country is up four positions in a ranking of the world’s 176 least corrupt nations: 69th, as compared to 73rd in 2011. Though modest, the advance can be explained by stronger legal provisions against financial crimes: Brazil’s new law on money laundering (No. 12,683), passed in July 2012; and Resolution 20 of August 2012 by the Council for Financial Activities Control (Coaf). The former enhances the oversight and punishment for money laundering crimes, while the latter compels agents that are unregulated or overseen by specific entities — such as lawyers, auditors and other professionals involved in investment processes — to report directly to the Coaf upon any suspected misconduct in financial transactions. In addition to these initiatives, Brazil’s National Congress is currently analyzing a bill of law (PL 6,826/2010) that holds companies criminally accountable for acts of corruption or bribery committed by their employees.
In the event of a conviction, the project would force such companies to pay a fine of 1% to 30% of their gross revenues, and would immediately ban them from doing business with the government. For publicly-traded companies and their contractors, this battery of new anti-corruption regulations brings a single word to mind: compliance. They need to improve their internal surveillance and crime avoidance structures — and they need to do it fast. Continue reading…