Disclose and remediate incidents

Protect your business, comply with laws and effectively address bribery and corruption.

This collection of resources proposes steps to take when instances of bribery or corruption occur, or when there are near misses. Develop your business’ understanding of what has occurred and promote a culture of action, self-reporting, remedy and organisational learning. 

Resources for addressing bribery

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This information pack provides key information on the Commonwealth offence for bribing a foreign public official, examples of foreign bribery, steps for reporting suspected foreign bribery and a list of useful links for further information. The pack contains six fact sheets as well as a poster and brochure that are available to download.

Under the Government’s proposed deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) scheme, companies that cooperate with authorities can be invited to enter a DPA for foreign bribery and related offences. If a company complies with the DPA, it will not be convicted. This draft code of practice sets out the expectations of authorities for companies that wish to enter a DPA.

Companies that have paid bribes can try to undo some of the harm through reparations. Enforcement agencies might also compel reparations to be made. This article outlines some of the forms that reparations can take and provides case studies from past enforcement actions.

When allegations of fraud or corruption arise, it is important to undertake a prompt and thorough investigation. This short 'how to' guide outlines the key steps to make an investigation effective. Be sure to also consider the 'whistleblowing' section of this site for more recent developments in obligations relating to whistleblowers.

This detailed instruction manual for investigating corruption allegations can guide you through the internal investigation process. It is designed for investigations in the public sector, but the same principles will apply for internal investigations of fraud or corruption issues in the private sector. The 'whistleblowing' section of this site provides up to date guidance on recent developments in obligations relating to whistleblowers.

This university training module will help unpack the 'how to' and 'why' of investigating possible corruption issues. The module focuses on responding appropriately to whistleblower reports in general. There are more specific requirements in Australia addressed in the 'whistleblowing' section of this site.

There are many layers to remediating bribery and corruption issues, including: identifying root causes, addressing weaknesses in systems and processes, imposing consequences on the people who have done the wrong thing, putting commercial relationships onto the right footing and paying reparations where appropriate. This incident response map works through some of the key issues related to a remediation response.

The bribery of a public foreign official (foreign bribery) is a serious criminal offence that carries significant penalties. This webpage provides information about the federal foreign bribery offence, previous foreign bribery convictions in Australia and proposed reforms including a new corporate offence for failure to prevent foreign bribery. This webpage also includes fact sheets and an online learning module.

This legislation proposes to strengthen Australia’s enforcement response to foreign bribery. It will introduce a new corporate offence for failure to prevent an associate (such as an employee, agent or subsidiary) from bribing a foreign public official and introduces a Commonwealth deferred prosecution agreement scheme for specified corporate offences related to bribery and other financial crimes.

Self-reporting is a significant first step in addressing suspected foreign bribery. This Guideline is designed to provide companies with information about how self-reporting will be taken into account by the CDPP when determining whether or not to commence a prosecution, and highlights the reasons why a company may choose to self-report including to comply with directors’ duties and limit liability. Information about early guilty pleas is also provided.

Whistleblowers play an important role in detecting bribery and corruption. To encourage whistleblowers to come forward and report misconduct, Australian law affords whistleblowers certain rights and protections, which will impact on how any investigation into a report is conducted. ASIC has published guidance to help companies understand Australian laws concerning who is a whistleblower and how they are protected.

Exporters need to be aware of the risks of bribery and corruption in international transactions and requirements to comply with laws in multiple jurisdictions. Bribery committed outside Australia can be captured under Australian laws and have serious consequences. Export Finance Australia provides useful links to assist exporters in understanding their obligations to comply with relevant laws against bribery and corruption. 

Authorities in the United Kingdom (UK) can investigate and prosecute foreign bribery that took place outside of the UK. This includes where UK citizens are involved, if some of the conduct occurred in the UK or for companies that 'carry on business or part of a business' in the UK. This portal puts you in touch with the correct authorities in the UK if you wish to report foreign bribery.

United States (US) authorities investigate and prosecute foreign bribery that takes place outside of the US, including where US citizens are involved, where payments are in US dollars and where companies are 'issuers' in US capital markets. This policy sets out the US Department of Justice's policy for giving significant discounts in penalty and circumstances in which authorities may not prosecute.

In 2015 Standard Bank PLC entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Serious Fraud Office in the United Kingdom to pay penalties of over US$25 million and US$7 million of compensation in connection with its role in an equity raising in Tanzania. The case highlights the risks of using agents to help win government contracts.