The Edge and The Malaysia Gazette reported that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission has stated that the corporate liability provision of the MACC Act will be in force in 2020. This two-year period is in line with my earlier post on the Parliamentary debate during the tabling of the Amendment Bill.
The one takeaway of this new corporate liability is this. Essentially, when a person associated with a company commits a corrupt act to obtain a business advantage, this will expose the company to committing a criminal offence. This will then have serious repercussions on the directors and management of the company.
In the leadup to the coming into force of corporate liability, the Corporate Anti-Corruption Compliance Centre (CACCC) has been established under the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Academy. The CACCC will provide training for organisations within both the public and corporate sectors.
Defence of Adequate Procedures
In The Edge article, the CEO of CACCC, Datuk Ganason Periathamby, was quoted as explaining that the only defence available to bribery offences, which may otherwise result in a fine or imprisonment, is that adequate preventive measures were in place.
Datuk Ganason therefore strongly urged commercial entities to establish proportionate or adequate anti-bribery measures that allow for the prevention, detection and eventually response, in the event of bribery occurring.
This issue relates to the new defence contained in section 17A(4) of the MACC Act. It is a defence for a commercial organisation to prove that it had in place adequate procedures to prevent the corrupt conduct. This framework requires the Minister to issue guidelines under section 17A(5) to set out the general guidance for such adequate procedures. Therefore, it is quite urgent that the Government assists commercial entities to prepare by issuing such guidelines.
It is also hoped that a consultation period be held in the preparation of the guidelines. This will have two advantages. First, it will create awareness within the corporate community on this new offence and the preparation needed. Second, the corporate community can provide their input in shaping the content of the guidelines and the procedures that will eventually have to be put in place.
Find Out More at MACC’s Half-Day Seminar
Finally, the MACC is holding a half-day seminar entitled ‘Gearing up for Corporate Liability’ on 10 October 2018 from 8.30am to 12.30pm. You can find out more information and sign up at this link.
Read more about corporate liability from my earlier articles: