Submission - Inquiry into Crimes Legislation Amendment (Combatting Foreign Bribery) Bill 2023

Transparency International Australia is pleased to provide the following comments and recommendations to the Senate’s Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee as part of its consultation into modernising Australia’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regime.

Australian companies involved in mining and infrastructure are particularly exposed to corruption risks, and are particularly exposed by gaps in our foreign bribery framework. As such, we strongly welcome the proposed amendments to the Criminal Code which seek to strengthen Australia’s implementation and enforcement of the Anti-Bribery Convention. We further recommend the following:

  • Publish statistics on foreign bribery investigations, prosecutions and case outcomes.
  • Develop a database of foreign bribery investigations and enforcement outcomes.
  • Introduce a Deferred Prosecution Agreement scheme as per previous versions of the proposed Bill. However, ensure it includes the requirement of an admission of criminal liability as part of a DPA.
  • Abolish the facilitation payments defence.
  • Introduce a debarment regime to grant agencies the power to preclude companies found guilty of foreign bribery offences from being awarded contracts.
  • Ensure the Bill makes it a criminal act to pay bribes to third parties to win government contracts in foreign jurisdictions, such as bribing a competitor to put in an uncompetitive bid for the contract.

Read more on the Senate Inquiry.