It’s Official: “Facilitation Payments” to Foreign Public Officials Violates Canada’s Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (CFPOA)
November 17, 2017
By Gary Scales, Regional Lead Partner at McInnes Cooper
It’s official: as of October 31, 2017, “facilitation payments” contravene Canada’s Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (CFPOA). With this, all of the sweeping amendments to the CFPOA are now in force. Over the last few decades “facilitation payments” have been pervasive and routine, part of both corporate and industrial culture. While the repeal of the facilitation payment was delayed, Canadian companies (particularly those doing business beyond Canadian borders) can not delay updating or implementing an anti-corruption compliance program: the legal exposure of violating the CFPOA is too great and the consequences too serious.
Bill S-14 and its amendments to the CFPOA took effect on June 19, 2013 – with one exception: the phase-out of the “facilitation payments” exemption. Under the 2013 amendments, “facilitation payments” were to be phased-out, with a complete prohibition coming in to force at a future date. That date has arrived: as of October 31, 2017, “facilitation payments” contravene the CFPOA. “Facilitation payments” are payments made to foreign public officials to expedite or secure any act of a routine nature that is part of the officials’ normal duties. Common in many countries, companies often make these types of payments to procure everyday goods or services such as:
- Licenses or permits required to carry on business in a particular location or industry
- Processing immigration applications to allow company employees or independent contractors to enter the country to work.
- Electricity, water, police or other municipal services.
Please contact your McInnes Cooper lawyer or any member of the Corporate Governance & Compliance Team @ McInnes Cooper to discuss this topic or any other legal issue.
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