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The fight against corruption

The fight against corruption

The objective of this first module is to understand what is anti-corruption and the laws related to it, such as the Sapin 2 law in France, known as the "law relating to transparency, the fight against corruption and the modernisation of economic life".

Sometimes hidden under the guise of innocuous little arrangements, corruption is nonetheless there, and liable to prosecution just as real.

We all have big corruption cases in mind... False invoices, excessive gifts, misuse of company assets...

But there are exchanges that might seem harmless, which nevertheless turn out to be real acts of corruption, punishable by law.

Corruption is a major problem for business all over the world. Because it harms competition, international trade and business in general.

And it is unethical!

As far as corruption is concerned, French companies may be subject to American and English legislation: the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the Bribery Act (UKBA).

And to French legislation, which has evolved!

On December 9, 2016, the "Sapin 2" law was passed, in the name of the Minister of Economy and Finance Michel Sapin, in order to strengthen the fight against corruption, make democracy more transparent and modernize economic life.

The anti-corruption mechanism of the Sapin 2 law has been in force since 1 June 2017 and has a direct impact on companies, their managers and employees, but also on their customers and partners...

This applies to companies and groups of companies (French or foreign subsidiaries) whose parent company has its registered office in France, has more than 500 employees, and whose turnover exceeds EUR 100 million.

This does not prevent TWAs and SMEs from protecting themselves against acts of corruption, under penalty of sanctions.

The Sapin 2 law, which punishes in the same way passive corruption (the bribe-taker) and active corruption (the corrupter), imposes the following 8 procedures and measures:

  • A code of conduct
  • An internal warning device
  • A risk mapping
  • Third party evaluation procedures
  • Accounting control procedures
  • Training of exposed managers and staff
  • A specific disciplinary regime
  • An internal control and evaluation system

The French Anti-Corruption Agency, AFA, was created to promote good practices, monitor companies' compliance and sanction them where appropriate.

Heavy sanctions, worthy of this new anti-corruption legal arsenal!

So let's all behave prudently and responsibly!