Brazil was one of the countries with the highest decrease in the Corruption Perception Index 2015 (CPI), prepared by Transparency International, with a score of 38, which is five points lower than the score obtained in 2014, placing it in the 76th position amongst 168 participating countries.

A country's score indicates the perceived level of corruption of the public sector on a scale from 0 to 100, 0 meaning that the country is perceived as highly corrupt and 100 meaning that the country is perceived as very honest. A country's rank indicates its standing relative to the other countries included in the index.

The decrease is attributed to the publicity given to investigations conducted by Brazilian authorities, such as Operation Car Wash, Zealots, Acronymic and Ararath. However, such investigations also show the maturity and consolidation of the investigative and enforcement institutions.

This index is often used by companies to determine the risks of operating in a given jurisdiction. The increased perception of risk in the country underscores the need for companies doing business in Brazil to adopt appropriate measures to address their risks. It is important that companies have a good compliance program within the parameters of Decree No. 82,410/2015 as well as other parameters held by other relevant jurisdictions in order to reduce their risks in Brazil. The severe penalties established by Law No. 12,846/2013, the Brazilian Clean Companies Act, as well as other laws and regulations around the world should also be considered.

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This article provides information and comments on legal issues and developments of interest. The foregoing is not a comprehensive treatment of the subject matter covered and is not intended to provide legal advice. Readers should seek specific legal advice before taking any action with respect to the matters discussed herein.