CbI View – West African companies prepare for tougher bribery lawsThursday, 28 June, 2012 - 00:00
With tougher anti-bribery legislation in place in the US and UK, local partners have been identified as a key vulnerability. Foreign companies need them to help them navigate the local business environment, especially if it is government policy to develop local content. But past prosecutions under the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) have highlighted unlawful acts such as agreements with consultants to pay bribes in exchange for contracts and access to non-public information, or overpayment of distributors who use the funds to secure sales agreements with government officials. The tougher rules are a growing concern for the companies that attended C5’s 19-20 June Anti-Corruption West Africa conference in Accra, who can be liable for their partners’ actions not just if they directly tell the contractor to act unlawfully but also if they are shown to have deliberately ignored suspicious actions or circumstances. Companies operating in Africa are increasingly using anti-corruption clauses in their contracts with third parties, with the right to terminate the relationship if there is a breach of the clause.