Australia’s ‘Second Cycle’ report on implementation of UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) obligations relating to corruption prevention and asset recovery has been published on the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) website. The review made 13 recommendations to strengthen Australia’s implementation of the UNCAC, including in relation to access to beneficial ownership and director identification information, regulation of former public officials working in the private sector and regulation of non-financial businesses and professions under anti-money laundering legislation.
The review assessed Australia’s implementation of Article 12 of the UNCAC, which requires countries to take measures to prevent corruption involving the private sector. An Australian Government submission published alongside the report highlighted the work of the Bribery Prevention Network in raising SME awareness of foreign bribery risk when conducting operations in foreign jurisdictions.
The review also assessed implementation of Article 54 relating to mechanisms to recover property acquired by or involved in a corrupt activity, which in Australia can occur without a criminal conviction in certain circumstances. The report noted Australia’s use of foreign law enforcement information to commence proceedings to restrain property located in Australia.
The Australian Government has committed to establishing a beneficial ownership register as part of its multinational tax integrity package. Access to beneficial ownership information can make it easier for companies to conduct due diligence on potential business partners and suppliers, and to tailor their anti-bribery programs accordingly.
Information about making a submission on the Government’s proposed beneficial ownership register can be found here: https://briberyprevention.com/2022/11/16/invitation-to-submit-comments-on-a-publicly-available-beneficial-ownership-register/
Australia’s Second Cycle review report and the supplementary submission can be found on the UNODC website: https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/corruption/country-profile/countryprofile.html#?CountryProfileDetails=%2Funodc%2Fcorruption%2Fcountry-profile%2Fprofiles%2Faus.html