(Quick Tips)Doing Business Overseas - Anti-corruption Commitment across Territories
Below are some anti-corruption tips for companies/organisations to do business overseas:
- Formulate a policy on the company/organisation’s zero tolerance against corruption including strict compliance with the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance (POBO) (Cap. 201) and anti-corruption laws of other jurisdictions in which the company/organisation carries out business.
- Require all staff and agents (including those stationed/employed in Hong Kong and overseas) to understand and comply with the policy.
- Prohibit staff and agents from bribing any persons, including foreign public officials, for securing business or their assistance, influencing their decisions, or in any way contrary to the POBO or applicable anti-corruption laws of the relevant jurisdictions.
- Seek advice regarding the overseas anti-corruption laws and trade practices from the relevant consulates, ministries of justice, anti-corruption agencies, legal consultants, chambers of commerce, trade associations, etc. as appropriate.
- Internally, issue a code of conduct and arrange integrity training for all staff and agents to uphold their integrity standards, covering the POBO and applicable overseas anti-corruption laws, and probity requirements of the company/organisation.
- Externally, publicise the anti-corruption policy and probity requirements to enhance transparency and minimise corrupt approaches from overseas counterparts (e.g. suppliers, contractors, business/joint venture partners).
- Engage a lawyer conversant with the relevant overseas legislations, including those concerning anti-corruption, to vet the company/organisation’s codes of conduct, tender and contract documents, joint venture agreements, etc.
- Readily provide staff and agents with guidance on complying with the company/organisation’s policy, e.g. establishing a channel or designating a person-in-charge to answer queries and help solve the problems encountered.
- Put in place adequate safeguards to deter and detect irregularities and non-compliance.
- Report suspected corruption to the ICAC and/or relevant overseas anti-corruption/law enforcement agencies as appropriate.