In Australia, there are only a few statistics on anti-corruption procedures. Regulatory authorities in Australia rarely publicize them. The OECD’s Phase 1 to 4 Reports on Australia’s compliance with its commitments under the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions include the most useful information. The OECD recognized the investigation and prosecution figures from the AFP as of August 2017 in its Phase 4 Report, which was published in December 2017, and issued a number of critical suggestions that Australia should address, including: a focus on the real estate sector’s laundering of international bribery money; and proper resources for enforcing foreign bribery regulations and pursuing criminal charges against foreign bribery-related corporations. From the introduction of foreign bribery charges within the Criminal Code in 1999 until 2011, no charges were brought under such provisions. The Securency banknote printing prosecution was the first to begin in July 2011. The second prosecution ended in 2017, with three people pleading guilty and being sentenced to prison. In total, eight people and two corporations have pleaded guilty to foreign bribery, conspiracy to bribe a foreign public official, or false accounting in relation to the payment of bribes to foreign public officials as of August 2019. The ACIC and the AFP were found to have participated in flagrant illegal conduct and an abuse of process against the relevant people in four other instances, which were permanently stayed by the High Court of Australia.
In Belgium, comprehensive statistics on previous and present anti-corruption procedures are currently unavailable. Despite the fact that the Belgian College of Public Prosecutors released a circular in November 2015 dedicated exclusively to the electronic recording of criminal processes relating to economic and financial crime and corruption, this is still the case (for statistical purposes). However, some significant (supra)national stakeholders have recently raised concerns about Belgian authorities’ lack of enforcement of corruption laws.
AFA: As a consequence of six examinations of organizations subject to the Sapin II Act, the AFA issued four warnings in 2017. The AFA performed 43 inspections on its own initiative in 2018, as well as four inspections as part of settlement agreements. Several public prosecutor offices, including the PNF, were notified of acts of corruption or associated offenses by the AFA in 2018. The AFA Enforcement Committee held its inaugural hearing on June 25, 2019, against a French business entity, which resulted in a non-conviction judgement released in July 2019. PNF: As of January 1, 2019, 513 cases were pending at the PNF, with 47 percent of them involving corruption and related offenses like influence peddling. Ninety of them involved a foreign government official or an international organization. In 2018, 18 people were charged with corruption or similar offenses, three of whom were sentenced to prison and 11 of whom were disqualified from practicing their professions. French courts levied 297 punishments in 2017 in relation to corruption or related offenses.
The Federal Criminal Police Office produced a Federal Status on Corruption for 2017, which presents and evaluates the crime situation in Germany. According to the report, corruption in Germany is primarily found in the public sector. Despite this, the Federal Criminal Police Office reported a decrease in the number of corruption cases it investigated in 2017. Effective compliance mechanisms in businesses and anti-corruption initiatives in the public sector are credited with this decrease. The similar conclusion was reached in a paper issued by Martin Luther University in Halle-Wittenberg called “White-collar crime 2018 – additional value of compliance – forensic experiences” (available at www.pwc.de/de/risk/pwc-wikri-2018.pdf). Germany is now ranked 11th in Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perception Index. Ireland is a country in Europe. To far, there have been few investigations into charges of bribery or corruption in Ireland, and no convictions have been brought under the Corruption Act. This tendency, however, looks to be reversing. The Garda National Economic Crime Bureau now has a team dedicated to the investigation of serious and complex economic crimes, including all cases of bribery and corruption; and one would expect that, following the government’s review of anti-fraud and anti-corruption measures, there will be a renewed focus on the investigation of allegations of bribery and corruption, as referred to in question 1.3.
Switzerland now ranks third out of 180 nations in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, with an 85 out of 100 score. The score represents the perceived level of corruption in the public sector (with zero indicating highly corrupt and 100 non-corrupt). Switzerland is definitely a top-ranked country in terms of anti-corruption in both categories. As a result, there are few recorded examples of corruption in Switzerland — approximately five per year on average, according to government figures. However, anti-money laundering laws in Switzerland have been used to prosecute a number of high-profile corruption cases from throughout the world (eg, Odebrecht).
According to Transparency International’s 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index, the United Kingdom is the 11th least corrupt country out of 175 countries. The index is based on a scale of zero to 100, with zero being the most corrupt (very clean). On the 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index, the United Kingdom received an 80 out of 100 score. Many bribery cases are still being prosecuted under outdated legislation. Indeed, the CPS launched 107 cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906 between 2014 and the second quarter of 2018, compared to about 42 for all breaches under the Bribery Act 2010. According to the House of Lords Select Committee on the Bribery Act, 22 charges under Section 1 of the Bribery Act (offering or giving a bribe) were brought between 2011 and 2017, resulting in 14 convictions. Ten people were sentenced to prison, three to probation, and one to community service. During the same time period, 14 people were convicted of Section 2 bribery, which resulted in seven prison sentences, five suspended sentences, and one community term. The majority of the first prosecutions filed under the Bribery Act involved small bribes of less than £10,000. There appear to be more large-scale business cases being brought currently, though not many. The SFO’s first successful Bribery Act 2010 individual conviction occurred in 2014, when two men were charged with a £23 million scam involving Sustainable AgroEnergy’s (SAE) biofuel investment products. Bribes were paid to SAE’s previous director and chief commercial officer in exchange for falsified invoices. Sweett Group PLC, a construction company, was the first to be found guilty of failing to prevent bribery under Section 7 of the Bribery Act in 2015. After admitting to failing to prevent an act of bribery designed to secure and retain a contract with an insurance business in the United Arab Emirates, it was fined £2.25 million. After Skansen Interiors reported bribery by two workers to the police and was charged with the crime, the first contested Section 7 case was settled in 2018. Skansen claimed that company had proper anti-bribery processes in place, but a jury ruled that this was not the case. The business discontinued operations in 2014, and the firm was awarded an absolute discharge. The SFO’s first corporate conviction following a trial for bribery of foreign public authorities occurred in 2014, when printing company Smith and Ouzman was fined £2.2 million for corrupt payments to officials in Kenya and Mauritania. While the number of charges under the 2010 Act was relatively low, it should be remembered that the DPAs reached with Standard Bank, Sarclad, and Rolls-Royce were all related to bribery.
The Corruption Percentage Index (CPI) assigns a number out of 100 to nations and territories based on how corrupt their public sector is seen to be. The lower the number, the less corrupt the country is thought to be. The CPI gave the United Arab Emirates a score of 70 in 2018, which is a good score when compared to the score of 52 given in 2003. Since 2003, the average CPI rating has been 64.56, with an average of 68 since 2009. The CPI rating of the United Arab Emirates during the last ten years is shown in the table below. The table shows the significant progress the UAE has made in combating bribery and corruption, as well as how these reforms are working in practice.
The DOJ has brought over 350 enforcement cases and the SEC has brought over 200 enforcement proceedings since the FCPA was introduced in 1977.