The Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (CFPOA) aims to discourage companies from engaging in corrupt acts abroad. The law brings Canada in line with the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (OECD Convention). More recent changes to the CFPOA have increased the maximum penalties and established accounting provisions comparable to the FCPA.
Recent amendments and increased enforcement actions have toughened Canada’s Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (CFPOA), intensifying the anti-corruption compliance demands for companies. While the Canadian government does not provide any formal requirements for what a compliance program should include, similarities with the FCPA and the UK Bribery Act provide some guidance companies can consider for implementing procedures to prevent corrupt acts.
Each company has different compliance needs depending on their size and risk exposure, so there is no compliance program that suits every business. However, the procedures that make up a compliance program should focus on a number of areas:
Establish a corporate policy against violations of the CFPOA.
Develop a strong tone at the top from senior management regarding the company policy.
Develop compliance standards and procedures designed to reduce the risk of violations of anti-corruption laws or the company’s own standards. This can take the form of a rigorous code of conduct.
Assign compliance oversight to one or more autonomous senior executives.
Implement appropriate financial and accounting procedures, including internal controls.
Make communication, guidance and training available to all employees.
Perform due diligence and meet compliance requirements for all third-parties (e.g., agents and business partners).
Periodically review and test compliance procedures.