Have You Done Enough for Your Anti-bribery Procedures?

Effective 1st June 2020, an organisation commits an offence if its associated person (including its employees, contractor, vendor, supplier and agent) corruptly gives, promises or offers gratification to obtain or retain business or advantage in business conduct.

The penalty and liability for breach of this S17A are severe.  Upon conviction, the organisations and their directors, officers and management can be exposed to:

  • Fine up to 10 times of the sum of gratification, or RM1 million, whichever is higher;
  • A maximum jail term of 20 years; or
  • Both.

Under the law, to defend against this charge, an organisation shall prove that it has implemented adequate procedures to prevent its associate from undertaking any corrupt practices.  However, the question is, how adequate is considered adequate?

To answer this million-dollar question, organisations should assess their corruption risk assessment and determine their exposures.  A holistic and well-documented risk assessment will go a long way in helping organisations to see clearly what they must do to balance the risks and controls adequately.