The Minister for Justice, Michael Keenan MP has announced that the Australian Coalition Government will today introduce new laws to establish a Deferred Prosecution Agreement as part of a raft of new reforms to Australia's anti-bribery and corruption regime. The introduction of these reforms comes ahead of International Anti-Corruption Day on Saturday and have been announced despite the Senate Economic References Committee being given a further extension to publish its report on the foreign bribery inquiry by 7 February 2018 rather than by 7 December 2017 as was originally planned.
The Crimes Legislation Amendment (Combatting Corporate Crime) Bill 2017 aims to:
- Reduce barriers to investigations and prosecutions
- Beef up offences pinging companies that operate overseas
- Create a Deferred Prosecution Agreement regime (the first of its kind for Australia) that will encourage companies to be transparent and self-report
- Push responsibility onto companies to strengthen their anti-bribery and corruption risk compliance systems by introducing a new offence of failing to prevent foreign bribery and an adequate procedures defence
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