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Anti-Corruption Regulation in Sweden and Abroad

Wassén, Amanda LU (2010) JURM01 20102
Department of Law
Abstract
The negative effects that corruption has on both individual nations and the global society as a whole are known and well documented. Still, an estimated one trillion US dollars (US $1.000 billion) is paid each year in bribes worldwide and both individuals and organizations testify to engaging in corrupt behavior.

The interest in fighting corruption has grown significantly in recent years, both in individual nations and within the international community. Compliance with the American legislation on bribery and corruption, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), has become one of the most important compliance issues for multinational companies, both US and non-US, and one of the most prioritized parts of due diligence in relation to... (More)
The negative effects that corruption has on both individual nations and the global society as a whole are known and well documented. Still, an estimated one trillion US dollars (US $1.000 billion) is paid each year in bribes worldwide and both individuals and organizations testify to engaging in corrupt behavior.

The interest in fighting corruption has grown significantly in recent years, both in individual nations and within the international community. Compliance with the American legislation on bribery and corruption, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), has become one of the most important compliance issues for multinational companies, both US and non-US, and one of the most prioritized parts of due diligence in relation to mergers and acquisitions. The FCPA is designed to deter improper inducements to foreign officials in connection with business activities and in doing so it consists of two major components namely, the accounting and record-keeping provisions and the anti-bribery provisions. The anti-bribery provisions apply to both physical and juristic persons and criminalize corrupt payments of foreign (non-US) government officials for the purpose of obtaining business. The United Kingdom recently enacted a reconstructed anti-bribery law, the Bribery Act 2010 (Bribery Act), with far-reaching exterritorial effects. The Bribery Act introduces a specific offence applicable to corporations failing to prevent acts of bribery committed by employees or agents. The basic provisions on bribery and corruption in Swedish law are found in the Penal Code of 1962 (Penal Code), where passive bribery and active bribery are separated as two different offences, listed in different chapters of the Code. Swedish anti-bribery law may soon be subject to change as an Inquiry has been appointed by the Swedish government to investigate and evaluate Swedish law in the area of anti-bribery and corruption. The Inquiry recently presented a report containing proposed changes of the bribery provisions of the Penal Code and a Code on Gifts, Rewards and Benefits in the Business Sector.

The overlying purpose of the proposed changes of the Swedish Penal Code presented by the Inquiry is to update Swedish anti-bribery law making it clearer and easier to understand and to apply. In order to do so, the Inquiry proposes structural change, organizing the bribery offences in one single chapter of the Penal Code - namely current chapter 10 with the proposed title of “On Embezzlement, Other Breaches of Trust and Bribery”. However, the structural arrangement proposed by the Inquiry is misleading as it puts a disproportionate focus on breach of trust. As analyzed in this thesis there are a number of advantages to be obtained by regulating bribery in a separate law or in a separate chapter of the Penal Code.

Among a number of material changes, the Inquiry proposes that the key element of improper reward is to be replaced by improper influence. However, the problem of what is to be considered improper remains. The Inquiry has to some extent made interpreting the bribery provision and its key elements easier, by providing for sub-sections. The sub-sections highlight that there are different interests protected by the provision on bribery. However, to fully eliminate the problem a clearer separation of the different sets of interests protected by the provisions on bribery is required. The different aspects taken into consideration when determining what is to be deemed as improper should be reflected in the statutory language of the bribery provisions. Even though the change proposed by the Inquiry is important since it is indeed the effects of a given reward that are improper and unwanted not the reward itself, the proposed change does not make it easier to differentiate a proper reward from an illicit bribe.

The purpose and the field of application of the Code on Gifts, Rewards and Benefits in the Business Sector, proposed by the Inquiry, need not only be clarified but analyzed and questioned. The code is intended to provide for a buffer for the corporations and organizations that choose to follow it, as the provisions of the code are stricter and reach further than the provisions of the Penal Code. Corporations who choose to implement the code and be in compliance with it, are intended to be able to feel fairly confident that they are not offending the bribery provisions of the Penal Code. It is unclear however, what the consequences will be if a corporation, accidentally or intentionally, offends the provisions of the code. Self-regulation and ethical rules are indeed very welcomed as part of maintaining good business practice and there should be incentives for corporations and organizations to put forward and adhere to ethical standards. But when linking these ethical rules and standards to the law, one should do so with care. There is a risk of developing a notion that what is unethical consequently is unlawful, which would undermine the purposes of self-regulated codes such as the Code on Gifts, Rewards and Benefits in the Business Sector, discouraging corporations from voluntarily committing to ethical standards higher than the ones provided for by law.

The Bribery Act, when it comes into force, will have a significant impact on multinational corporations. The Bribery Act applies to all corporations incorporated in the UK and in terms of the offence failure of commercial organizations to prevent bribery to all bodies or partnerships that carry on a business or part of a business in any part of the UK. Thus its exterritorial jurisdiction is broad. Two important questions in regards to the offence failure of commercial organizations to prevent bribery are (i) what “carrying out part of a business in the UK” really means and (ii) what “an associated person” will come to mean and thus whose actions a corporation is responsible for. Employees, agents and subsidiaries will most likely be presumed to be associated with a corporation, for the purpose of this offence, but what other business associates, performing services for or on behalf of a corporation, will come to be included? These questions are analyzed in this thesis.

Unlike the Bribery Act and the Swedish Penal Code, the FCPA provides for an affirmative defense for reasonable and bona fide business expenditures related to certain company promotions. The Bribery Act sets itself apart from both American and Swedish anti-corruption regulation in that it is not necessarily a defense to state that the illicit payment was permitted under the written laws of the country where the act took place. In theory one can be held liable for bribery, under the Bribery Act, even if the written laws of the jurisdiction where the act took place permitted the act. These as well as other differences between the respective laws are analyzed in this thesis.

Swedish, British, American and multinational corporations and organizations with some form of connection to either of these countries are all affected by the anti-corruption regulations presented in this thesis. Accordingly, being aware of the jurisdictions an organization is exposed to and making sure that the organization is in compliance with the anti-bribery and corruption laws of those jurisdictions is of the utmost importance. If not, both organizations and individuals risk facing considerable sanctions such as several years of imprisonment, unlimited fines, considerable legal costs, debarment from public procurements and a damaged reputation. A well crafted compliance program does not only provide for sound corporate conduct preventing acts of corruption from taking place, but will also serve as a vital component when trying to limit or cut off liability as well as arguing for a reduced sentence when acts of corruption have taken place. As a corporation can be found liable for the acts of subsidiaries, agents and other business partners, it is also important to perform adequate due diligence before entering into these types of business relations. The basic components of a compliance program include top level commitment, risk assessment, clear and accessible policies and procedures, effective implementation, monitoring and review as well as performing due diligence of business partners and middlemen.

Successful action against corruption is impossible without the combined efforts of governments, individual organizations, corporations and people. And a corporation choosing to be in compliance with anti-bribery and corruption law does so, not only to the benefit of social justice and global and national economic growth but also to the benefit of its own profitability. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
De negativa effekter som korruption har på såväl enskilda nationer som det globala samhället i helhet är kända och väl dokumenterade. Ändå betalas uppskattningsvis tusen miljarder amerikanska dollar varje år i mutor över hela världen och både individer och organisationer erkänner att de begått korrupta handlingar.

Intresset för att bekämpa korruption har ökat väsentligt under senare år, både på nationell och på global nivå. Efterlevnad av den amerikanska lagstiftningen om mutor och korruption Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) har blivit en av de viktigaste efterlevnadsfrågorna för både amerikanska och icke-amerikanska bolag, samt en av de mest prioriterade delarna av due diligence i samband med fusioner och förvärv. FCPA avser att... (More)
De negativa effekter som korruption har på såväl enskilda nationer som det globala samhället i helhet är kända och väl dokumenterade. Ändå betalas uppskattningsvis tusen miljarder amerikanska dollar varje år i mutor över hela världen och både individer och organisationer erkänner att de begått korrupta handlingar.

Intresset för att bekämpa korruption har ökat väsentligt under senare år, både på nationell och på global nivå. Efterlevnad av den amerikanska lagstiftningen om mutor och korruption Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) har blivit en av de viktigaste efterlevnadsfrågorna för både amerikanska och icke-amerikanska bolag, samt en av de mest prioriterade delarna av due diligence i samband med fusioner och förvärv. FCPA avser att avskräcka individer och bolag från att erbjuda eller ge mutor till offentliga tjänstemän i samband med affärsverksamhet utanför USA’s gränser. FCPA består av två regelverk där det ena behandlar ett bolags redovisningsskyldighet och det andra behandlar mutbrott. Bestämmelserna om mutbrott gäller både fysiska och juridiska personer. Storbritannien antog nyligen en rekonstruerad lag om mutbrott och korruption, Bribery Act 2010, vilken har en långtgående extraterritoriell verkan. Lagen innehåller ett särskilt brott vilket medför strikt ansvar för företag som inte lyckas förhindra att mutbrott begås av dess anställda eller samarbetspartners. I svensk rätt återfinns de grundläggande bestämmelserna om mutor och korruption i brottsbalken kapitel 17 och 20, där mutbrott och bestickning är separerade som två olika brott. Dessa bestämmelser kan dock snart komma att ändras med anledning av den utredning som nyligen presenterats, SOU 2010:38. Utredningen föreslår förändringar av bestämmelserna i brottsbalken om mutbrott och bestickning. Utredningen presenterar även ett förslag på en Kod för gåvor, belöningar och förmåner i näringslivet.

Det övergripande syftet med de av utredningen föreslagna förändringarna av bestämmelserna om mutbrott och bestickning är att uppdatera svensk mutlagstiftning för att göra den tydligare och lättare att förstå och tillämpa. För att uppnå detta syfte föreslår utredningen bland annat en strukturell förändring i brottsbalken vilken innebär att bestämmelserna om mutbrott och bestickning sammanförs i ett och samma kapitel - nuvarande kapitel 10 med den föreslagna titeln "Om förskingring, annan trolöshet och mutbrott”. Dock är detta strukturella arrangemang något vilseledande och det torde finnas ett antal fördelar att uppnå genom att reglera mutbrott och korruption i en särskild lag eller i ett separat kapitel i brottsbalken. Denna tes presenteras och analyseras i denna uppsats.

Utredningen föreslår även att det centrala rekvisitet, otillbörlig belöning, i nuvarande reglering av mutbrott och bestickning ska ersättas med rekvisitet otillbörlig påverkan. Problemet med vad som är att anse som otillbörligt kvarstår dock. Utredningen har till viss del underlättat tolkningen av bestämmelserna om mutbrott och bestickning genom att dela upp bestämmelsen om mutbrott i olika delar, vilka behandlar olika former av mutbrott. Denna uppdelning markerar att det finns olika skyddsintressen bakom bestämmelserna om mutbrott och bestickning. För att helt eliminera problemet krävs dock en än mer tydlig åtskillnad mellan de olika intressen som bestämmelserna har till syfte att skydda. De olika aspekter som beaktas vid fastställandet av vad som är att anse som en otillbörlig påverkan borde på ett eller annat sätt avspeglas i lagtexten. Även om den förändring som utredningen föreslår är viktigt, eftersom det är just effekterna av en viss belöning som är olämpliga och oönskade snarare än belöningen i sig, så innebär inte den föreslagna förändringen att det blir lättare att särskilja en tillåten förmån från en olaglig muta.

Syftet med och tillämpningen av den av utredningen föreslagna Koden om gåvor, belöningar och andra förmåner i näringslivet, bör inte bara klarläggas ytterligare utan även analyseras och ifrågasättas något. Koden är avsedd att utgöra en buffert för företag och organisationer som väljer att följa den, eftersom bestämmelserna i koden är strängare och når längre än bestämmelserna om mutbrott och bestickning i brottsbalken. De företag och organisationer som väljer att följa koden ska således kunna känna sig relativt säkra på att de inte bryter mot lagen. Det framgår dock inte vilka konsekvenserna blir om ett företag, oavsiktligt eller avsiktligt, bryter mot bestämmelserna i koden. Självreglering och etiska normer utgör ett viktigt inslag för att verka för och upprätthålla god affärssed på marknaden. Det bör därför finnas incitament för företag och organisationer att utveckla och följa sådana etiska regelverk. Om lagstiftaren väljer att koppla ihop dessa etiska regelverk med lag, bör det göras med försiktighet och eftertanke. Det finns risk för att det utvecklas en föreställning om att det som är oetiskt följaktligen är olagligt, vilket skulle motverka syftet med självreglerande koder som den föreslagna Koden om gåvor, belöningar och andra förmåner i näringslivet och följaktligen avskräcka företag och organisationer från att frivilligt tillämpa normer av en högre etisk dignitet än vad som föreskrivs i lag.

Den nya brittiska mutlagstiftningen Bribery Act 2010 (Bribery Act) kommer, när den träder i kraft, att ha en betydande inverkan på multinationella företag. Lagens bestämmelser är tillämpliga på alla företag registrerade i Storbritannien och i fråga om det specifika brottet failure of commercial organizations to prevent bribery alla organ eller bolag som bedriver verksamhet eller en del av en verksamhet i Storbritannien. Således är lagens extraterritoriella verkan långtgående. Två viktiga frågor i fråga om brottet failure of commercial organizations to prevent bribery är (i) vad ”att bedriva en del av en verksamhet i Storbritannien" egentligen innebär samt (ii) vad begreppet "an associated person" kommer att innefatta och därmed vems gärningar ett företag kan komma att bära ansvar för. Anställda, agenter och dotterbolag kommer sannolikt att antas vara förknippade med ett företag men vilka andra affärskontakter, som utför tjänster för eller på uppdrag av företaget, kommer att ingå? Dessa frågor analyseras i denna uppsats.

Till skillnad från den brittiska och den svenska mutlagstiftningen så innehåller FCPA bestämmelser vilka uttryckligen undantar rimliga och bona fide förmåner givna i samband med ett företags affärsverksamhet från straffbarhet. Dock måste dessa förmåner vara rimliga, nödvändiga och givna i god tro - det vill säga utan korrupt uppsåt - för att de ska omfattas av undantaget i FCPA. Vidare skiljer sig Bribery Act från både FCPA och svensk mutlagstiftning i att det inte nödvändigtvis utgör ett försvar att den aktuella förmånen var lagenlig i det land där handlingen företogs. I teorin kan således en individ eller en organisation hållas ansvarig för mutbrott enligt Bribery Act även om skrivna lagar i den jurisdiktion där mutbrottet företogs tillät handlingen. Dessa och andra skillnader mellan de respektive lagarna analyseras i denna uppsats.

Svenska, brittiska, amerikanska och multinationella företag och organisationer med någon anknytning till dessa länder är alla berörda av de lagstiftningar som presenteras i denna uppsats. Följaktligen är det av yttersta vikt att vara medveten om den eller de jurisdiktioner en organisation omfattas av samt att säkerställa att organisationens verksamhet bedrivs på ett sätt som överrensstämmer med gällande mutlagstiftning för respektive jurisdiktion. Både enskilda personer och organisationer riskerar annars att träffas av avsevärda konsekvenser så som flera års fängelse, obegränsade böter, höga rättsliga kostnader, uteslutning från offentliga upphandlingar och ett skadat varumärke och rykte. Ett väl utformat compliance program möjliggör inte bara en sund företagskultur där korrupta handlingar förebyggs, utan kommer även att utgöra en viktig del när ett företag söker begränsa eller skära av ansvar för redan begångna handlingar samt argumentera för ett mildrare straff vid en eventuell rättegång. Eftersom ett företag kan befinnas ansvarigt för handlingar begångna av dotterbolag, agenter och andra samarbetspartners så är det även viktigt att genomföra adekvat due diligence innan ett företag träder in i dessa typer av affärsrelationer. De grundläggande komponenterna i ett compliance program inkluderar engagemang från personer och organ i styrande positioner, riskbedömning, tydliga och tillgängliga riktlinjer och rutiner, ett effektivt genomförande, uppföljning och översyn av programmet samt due diligence av företagets affärspartners.

Framgångsrika åtgärder mot korruption kräver gemensamma ansträngningar från både regeringar, enskilda organisationer och företag samt individer. Samtidigt kan de företag som väljer att bedriva sin verksamhet på ett sätt som överensstämmer med mut- och korruptionslagstiftning göra det både till förmån för social rättvisa och global och nationell ekonomisk tillväxt samt till fördel för sin egen lönsamhet och fortlevnad. (Less)
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author
Wassén, Amanda LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Anti-Corruption Regulation in Sweden and Abroad
course
JURM01 20102
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
comparative law
language
English
id
1747465
date added to LUP
2010-12-21 09:32:27
date last changed
2010-12-21 09:32:27
@misc{1747465,
  abstract     = {The negative effects that corruption has on both individual nations and the global society as a whole are known and well documented. Still, an estimated one trillion US dollars (US $1.000 billion) is paid each year in bribes worldwide and both individuals and organizations testify to engaging in corrupt behavior.   

The interest in fighting corruption has grown significantly in recent years, both in individual nations and within the international community. Compliance with the American legislation on bribery and corruption, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), has become one of the most important compliance issues for multinational companies, both US and non-US, and one of the most prioritized parts of due diligence in relation to mergers and acquisitions. The FCPA is designed to deter improper inducements to foreign officials in connection with business activities and in doing so it consists of two major components namely, the accounting and record-keeping provisions and the anti-bribery provisions. The anti-bribery provisions apply to both physical and juristic persons and criminalize corrupt payments of foreign (non-US) government officials for the purpose of obtaining business. The United Kingdom recently enacted a reconstructed anti-bribery law, the Bribery Act 2010 (Bribery Act), with far-reaching exterritorial effects. The Bribery Act introduces a specific offence applicable to corporations failing to prevent acts of bribery committed by employees or agents. The basic provisions on bribery and corruption in Swedish law are found in the Penal Code of 1962 (Penal Code), where passive bribery and active bribery are separated as two different offences, listed in different chapters of the Code. Swedish anti-bribery law may soon be subject to change as an Inquiry has been appointed by the Swedish government to investigate and evaluate Swedish law in the area of anti-bribery and corruption. The Inquiry recently presented a report containing proposed changes of the bribery provisions of the Penal Code and a Code on Gifts, Rewards and Benefits in the Business Sector. 

The overlying purpose of the proposed changes of the Swedish Penal Code presented by the Inquiry is to update Swedish anti-bribery law making it clearer and easier to understand and to apply. In order to do so, the Inquiry proposes structural change, organizing the bribery offences in one single chapter of the Penal Code - namely current chapter 10 with the proposed title of “On Embezzlement, Other Breaches of Trust and Bribery”. However, the structural arrangement proposed by the Inquiry is misleading as it puts a disproportionate focus on breach of trust. As analyzed in this thesis there are a number of advantages to be obtained by regulating bribery in a separate law or in a separate chapter of the Penal Code.  
	
Among a number of material changes, the Inquiry proposes that the key element of improper reward is to be replaced by improper influence. However, the problem of what is to be considered improper remains. The Inquiry has to some extent made interpreting the bribery provision and its key elements easier, by providing for sub-sections. The sub-sections highlight that there are different interests protected by the provision on bribery. However, to fully eliminate the problem a clearer separation of the different sets of interests protected by the provisions on bribery is required. The different aspects taken into consideration when determining what is to be deemed as improper should be reflected in the statutory language of the bribery provisions. Even though the change proposed by the Inquiry is important since it is indeed the effects of a given reward that are improper and unwanted not the reward itself, the proposed change does not make it easier to differentiate a proper reward from an illicit bribe.

The purpose and the field of application of the Code on Gifts, Rewards and Benefits in the Business Sector, proposed by the Inquiry, need not only be clarified but analyzed and questioned. The code is intended to provide for a buffer for the corporations and organizations that choose to follow it, as the provisions of the code are stricter and reach further than the provisions of the Penal Code. Corporations who choose to implement the code and be in compliance with it, are intended to be able to feel fairly confident that they are not offending the bribery provisions of the Penal Code. It is unclear however, what the consequences will be if a corporation, accidentally or intentionally, offends the provisions of the code. Self-regulation and ethical rules are indeed very welcomed as part of maintaining good business practice and there should be incentives for corporations and organizations to put forward and adhere to ethical standards. But when linking these ethical rules and standards to the law, one should do so with care. There is a risk of developing a notion that what is unethical consequently is unlawful, which would undermine the purposes of self-regulated codes such as the Code on Gifts, Rewards and Benefits in the Business Sector, discouraging corporations from voluntarily committing to ethical standards higher than the ones provided for by law. 

The Bribery Act, when it comes into force, will have a significant impact on multinational corporations. The Bribery Act applies to all corporations incorporated in the UK and in terms of the offence failure of commercial organizations to prevent bribery to all bodies or partnerships that carry on a business or part of a business in any part of the UK. Thus its exterritorial jurisdiction is broad. Two important questions in regards to the offence failure of commercial organizations to prevent bribery are (i) what “carrying out part of a business in the UK” really means and (ii) what “an associated person” will come to mean and thus whose actions a corporation is responsible for. Employees, agents and subsidiaries will most likely be presumed to be associated with a corporation, for the purpose of this offence, but what other business associates, performing services for or on behalf of a corporation, will come to be included? These questions are analyzed in this thesis. 

Unlike the Bribery Act and the Swedish Penal Code, the FCPA provides for an affirmative defense for reasonable and bona fide business expenditures related to certain company promotions. The Bribery Act sets itself apart from both American and Swedish anti-corruption regulation in that it is not necessarily a defense to state that the illicit payment was permitted under the written laws of the country where the act took place. In theory one can be held liable for bribery, under the Bribery Act, even if the written laws of the jurisdiction where the act took place permitted the act. These as well as other differences between the respective laws are analyzed in this thesis.

Swedish, British, American and multinational corporations and organizations with some form of connection to either of these countries are all affected by the anti-corruption regulations presented in this thesis. Accordingly, being aware of the jurisdictions an organization is exposed to and making sure that the organization is in compliance with the anti-bribery and corruption laws of those jurisdictions is of the utmost importance. If not, both organizations and individuals risk facing considerable sanctions such as several years of imprisonment, unlimited fines, considerable legal costs, debarment from public procurements and a damaged reputation. A well crafted compliance program does not only provide for sound corporate conduct preventing acts of corruption from taking place, but will also serve as a vital component when trying to limit or cut off liability as well as arguing for a reduced sentence when acts of corruption have taken place. As a corporation can be found liable for the acts of subsidiaries, agents and other business partners, it is also important to perform adequate due diligence before entering into these types of business relations. The basic components of a compliance program include top level commitment, risk assessment, clear and accessible policies and procedures, effective implementation, monitoring and review as well as performing due diligence of business partners and middlemen. 

Successful action against corruption is impossible without the combined efforts of governments, individual organizations, corporations and people. And a corporation choosing to be in compliance with anti-bribery and corruption law does so, not only to the benefit of social justice and global and national economic growth but also to the benefit of its own profitability.},
  author       = {Wassén, Amanda},
  keyword      = {comparative law},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Anti-Corruption Regulation in Sweden and Abroad},
  year         = {2010},
}