United States: So You Want To See Messi, Neymar, Ronaldo, And Xavi: Brazil Issues Directive Barring Government Officials From Receiving World Cup Tickets

Earlier today, the Office of the Comptroller General in Brazil, Controladoria-Geral da União ("CGU"), issued a sweeping directive barring government officials from accepting offers to attend or participate in the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup events set to begin in Brazil on June 12, 2014. This CGU directive is consistent with the existing obligations of businesses under Brazil's recently enacted Anti-Corruption Law, No. 12,846/2013, the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA"), the UK Bribery Act ("Bribery Act"), and the anti-corruption laws of most countries. The CGU directive provides companies dealing with corporate hospitality surrounding the World Cup with a valuable response to Brazilian government officials seeking tickets to see Messi, Neymar, Ronaldo, Suarez, Xavi, and, of course, America's own Clint Dempsey.

I. The CGU Directive

Consistent with Brazil's anti-corruption legislation, the CGU's directive prohibits federal public agents from accepting any invitations, tickets, transportation or hotel offers to watch matches or participate in World Cup events. Officials may, however, accept invitations or tickets in limited circumstances:

a. when distributed by the Public Administration as granted to it by FIFA, a FIFA subsidiary in Brazil, the Brazilian Organizing Committee, or Brazilian Football Confederation;

b. when received from personal family or friends who incur the costs with no connection to the recipient's role as a public servant;

c. when received from public promotions or from a private consumer relationship and bearing no relationship to the recipient's role as a public servant;

d. when the recipient is to attend or participate in events in his/her capacity as a public servant and with the approval of management; and

e. when issued by a government-owned company in furtherance of its operations or the public interest and provided no conflicts of interest exist.

These narrowly tailored exceptions all but foreclose public agents and federal government officials from receiving World Cup tickets (and related corporate sponsorships) from private companies. Similarly, on May 19, 2014, Brazil's Public Ethics Committee ("CEP") signed a document in which it issued similar guidance to federal officials barring the receipt of gifts or favors from private companies for World Cup events and festivities.

II. Implications for Anti-Corruption Compliance

The CGU directive restricts the conduct of Brazilian government officials as opposed to the conduct of domestic and foreign businesses. However, the directive is a significant reminder for companies to be mindful of possible FCPA violations as well as violations of Brazil's anti-corruption statute when giving gifts or other items of value to government officials around the World Cup.

Brazilian law imposes substantial civil and administrative penalties on foreign and domestic corporations involved in the bribery of domestic or foreign public officials or related third parties, as well as attempting or supporting such acts. The anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA and other anti-corruption laws forbid the offer, promise or actual payment of money or anything of value, directly or indirectly, to a foreign official for the purpose of influencing any act or decision of a foreign official, or to induce a foreign official to use his or her influence to affect a government act or decision, in order to obtain or retain business or direct business to any person. The FCPA also contains "books and records" provisions which require issuers whose securities are registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission to maintain accurate records and internal accounting controls, including with respect to how payments are recorded and characterized.

Though the provision of entertainment or amenities for a legitimate business purpose are not generally considered unlawful, companies should be cautious about providing any payments, gifts, or other items of value to public officials during the World Cup given the heightened risks of inquiry by regulators and prosecutors both in Brazil, the United States, and other countries. As a corollary, businesses participating in the World Cup should ensure that their compliance programs are capable of dealing with the unique issues raised by taking part in the world's largest single sporting event (sorry to those who think of the World Series or the Super Bowl in this regard). Accordingly, companies should:

a. Maintain accurate and thorough books and records of World Cup expenses: Transparency is crucial. Companies should ensure that all gifts and expenses are logged and detailed, including the business purpose for the hospitality and information about any recipients.

b. Avoid optically questionable gifts and hospitality: Extravagant and lavish hospitality should generally be avoided. This would include VIP tickets for events or lavish amenities for transportation and hotel stay.

c. It is time to remind employees, agents and representatives of your company's anti-corruption policy: Communicating the company's expected dos and don'ts during the World Cup is a good way to give employees, third party vendors, and agents a refresher on anti-bribery laws generally.

d. Ensure internal anti-corruption procedures are up to date: As a matter of practice, and particularly in light of the upcoming World Cup, businesses should ensure that their internal compliance policies and procedures are up to date, well-publicized and understood by all within the organization.

e. Seek advice from the legal and compliance departments: When in doubt about what types of hospitality are appropriate during the World Cup under Brazilian, US, and other applicable anti-corruption laws, employees should be encouraged to consult the legal and compliance departments.

III. Conclusion

As the world's focus turns to Brazil for the World Cup and the galaxy of world football (some would say soccer) stars on display from Messi to Neymar and Ronaldo, companies and their compliance and legal departments are reminded that the World Cup provides unique concerns from an anti-corruption perspective. This would be the time to sensitize employees who may be interacting with government officials to the perils that lie ahead. The CGU directive will likely help companies manage their relationships with government officials in those instances when a decision is made to decline to provide coveted tickets to government officials.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration
Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:
  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.
  • Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.
    If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here
    If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here

    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

    Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

    Use of www.mondaq.com

    You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

    Disclaimer

    Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

    The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

    Registration

    Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

    • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
    • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
    • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

    Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

    Information Collection and Use

    We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

    We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

    Mondaq News Alerts

    In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

    Cookies

    A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

    Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

    Log Files

    We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

    Links

    This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

    Surveys & Contests

    From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

    Mail-A-Friend

    If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

    Emails

    From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

    *** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .

    Security

    This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

    Correcting/Updating Personal Information

    If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

    Notification of Changes

    If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

    How to contact Mondaq

    You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

    If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.

    By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions