The Criminal Justice Act became effective from 30 July 2018 replacing the previous Prevention of Corruption Acts (1889 to 2010).
What constitutes an offense?
  1. It will affect all companies who are liable for the actions of its officers (directors including shadow directors, managers, Company secretaries) as well as employees, agents and subsidiaries if they under take an action which is an offense under the Act.
  2. An individual commits a corruption offense if they offer a gift or consideration to an individual (because of the individual’s position, employment or office) for the purpose of:
    • obtaining business or a business advantage for their company or
    • to retain business for their company or
    • to induce that individual to influence an Irish or foreign official.
    This includes offers of gifts or gifts directly to an Irish or foreign official.
  3. An individual also commits an offense if they accept a bribe or transfer confidential information obtained by their position in public office for a bribe.
  4. It is also an offense to an individual to create a document or use a document which, to the knowledge or belief of the individual, contains incorrect statements, for the purpose of inducing another person to carry out a certain action related to their employment or position.
  5. It is, of course, an offense to intimidate an individual by threatening to harm them in order to force the individual (or another individual) to act in a specific way in the individual’s office, employment, position or business.
What should an organization do?
  1. If the company does not already have one, appoint an officer to deal with day-to-day compliance for anticorruption procedures.
  2. Review the company’s current policies and prepare clear and detailed policies and procedures to counter corruption. For example, the company records (such as accounts) should provide a clear record of any gifts or other consideration given or received.
  3. Ensure personnel receive proper training on these policies and are trained on how to recognize suspected corruption.
  4. Ensure that all those who deal with the company, such as suppliers, are aware of the company’s policies and that the company has a policy of zero tolerance for corruption.
  5. Ensure the Board reviews the policies fully as it is the Board that is ultimately responsible for them.
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