Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act
The Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (CFPOA) (the Act) is an anti-corruption law in force in Canada. It was passed in 1999, ratifying the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions and is often referred to as the Canadian equivalent to the United States' Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
Canada has jurisdiction over the bribery of a foreign public official when the offense is committed in whole or in part in its territory. To be subject to the jurisdiction of Canadian courts, a significant portion of the activities constituting the offense must take place in Canada.
The FCPA is considered to have far greater jurisdictional reach than the CFPOA, applying to issuers in the United States, domestic concerns and any person pursuing a bribery arrangement with a foreign official while within the territory of the United States.
The Act provides under Section 3.(1):
Every person commits an offence who, in order to obtain or retain an advantage in the course of business, directly or indirectly gives, offers or agrees to give or offer a loan, reward, advantage or benefit of any kind to a foreign public official or to any person for the benefit of a foreign public official.
(a) as consideration for an act or omission by the official in connection with the performance of the official's duties or functions; or
(b) to induce the official to use his or her position to influence any acts or decisions of the foreign state or public international organization for which the official performs duties or functions.
In March 2011, Canada and the CFPOA was criticised by the OECD which complained of limit to the Act's jurisdiction, insufficient numbers of investigators, and weak penalties in the event of a conviction. In May 2011, the NGO Transparency International suggested that Canada was a long way behind other developed countries, identifying it as one of 21 states undertaking "little or no enforcement" of their anti-bribery legislation". It reported that "Canada is the only G7 country in the little or no enforcement category, and has been in this category since the first edition of this report in 2005". The compliance consultancy Billiter Partners suggested that "unlike its US counterparts, Canadian authorities have yet to charge a well-known Canadian firm for bribery." The most high profile recent CFPOA investigation resulted in charges being made in May 2010 against Nazir Karigar for allegedly making a payment to an Indian government official to facilitate a multimillion-dollar contract for the supply of a security system. Also notable was the announcement in January 2009, that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) was reported to be investigating Niko Resources over allegations that it had made improper payments to government officials in Bangladesh.
- Convention against Corruption (disambiguation)
- Politically exposed person
- The UK Bribery Act
- OECD Anti-Bribery Convention
- The Globe and Mail, “OECD slams Canada’s lack of prosecution of bribery offences”
- The Huffington Post, “Transparency International Criticizes Harper Administration For Not Enforcing Anti-Bribery Laws”
- Billiter Partners, “OECD Criticism Masks Changes in Canada’s Anti-Corruption Landscape”, March 2011