INTOUCH : Bribery and Corruption Risks

A lack of awareness of our own and far-reaching US anti-bribery and corruption laws is exposing New Zealand companies, operating globally, to increased risk, according to Mark Leishman, executive director of KPMG Forensic.
More Kiwi companies are working offshore and more likely to be exposed to corrupt practices by officials that are virtually unheard of here, says Leishman. And by participating in such activities, businesses can be liable for breach of our Crimes Act, the laws of the corrupt official’s country and, in cases where the company also has ‘footprint’ in the United States, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).” ‘footprint’ can be acquired by actions as simple as using financial institutions in the US or using that country’s banking system.
A recent KPMG survey of listed companies in the UK suggests New Zealand businesses operating globally were not alone in failing to appreciate their position regarding bribery and corruption legislation, particularly in relation to the FCPA.
“It’s easy to imagine New Zealand business operating somewhere like Asia, paying bribe to an official, not realising, if they also have an office in the US, they had potentially broken the law in three different jurisdictions.”

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