Seminar held by ETCO and Valor discusses Anti-Corruption Law
After the “trawl” of the Clean Record Law, which put hundreds of suspicious applications in limbo, the country now has the Clean Company Law (or Anti-Corruption Law). In effect since January, Law 12.846 holds companies and their employees accountable for committing acts against the public administration. With the legislation, the State wants to punish the corrupting agent and also the company that allows itself to be corrupted. With this, it expects Brazil to leave the uncomfortable position of 72 in the ranking of corruption in a global list of 180 countries. The new law provides for offenders punishments that can reach R $ 60 million or 20% of revenues, without exempting them from repairing losses to public coffers.
First of all, the purpose of the law is inhibiting and educational. More than that, the law aims to reward “clean” companies with better competitive conditions. "The law has the power to equalize the conditions of competitiveness among companies, making the market reward those who invest in ethics, integrity and efficiency," said Sérgio Nogueira Seabra, secretary of Transparency and Corruption Prevention. “When creating equal competition based on efficiency, the company, the citizen and the government benefit. It is a game where everyone wins ”, commented Seabra, one of the speakers at the seminar held by ETCO and Valor Econômico newspaper“ The new Anti-Corruption Law and its impacts on companies ”, on August 25, in São Paulo.
"This is a law designed to really change the level of the business environment in Brazil," said Jorge Hage, Minister of State Chief of the Comptroller General of the Union, who also participated in the event. The minister, however, sees two obstacles. One of them is the “necessary reform to speed up the judicial process, both civil and criminal, so that the processes do not take 10 to 20 years”. The other is “the abolition of corporate financing for political campaigns, which, by the way, are the two major goals that lie ahead”.
For the minister, the Clean Company Law, as he prefers to call the Anti-Corruption Law, is another milestone in a fight that started a decade ago, with “the portals of transparency, with the law of access to information, with the institution of the corregidorias system ”. These mechanisms, Hage enumerated, "removed 4.016 corrupt agents from the ranks of the federal administration, prevented 3.866 companies from participating in tenders and barred 2.690 NGOs from receiving agreements".
For the executive president of the Brazilian Institute of Ethics in Competition (Etco), Evandro Guimarães, companies have an important role in fighting corruption. “Each company must have its own internal committee for prevention of integrity.” According to him, "in Brazil, tax evasion, smuggling, piracy, adulteration are equivalent to a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the countries of Latin America". "The greatest asset of a nation is the internal market that has to be preserved and we cannot spare any effort to make companies participate in this anti-corruption movement," he said.
Mario Vinícius Claussen Spinelli, general controller of the municipality of São Paulo, defends the thesis that “it is necessary to change the promiscuity relationship between the public and private sectors in Brazil”. He suggested that the country adopt international models that hold corruption networks accountable. According to Spinelli, Brazil is one of the few developing countries that did not have an anti-corruption law. In the city of São Paulo, the results are illustrative. For example, just last month, the collection of ISS Habite-se increased 74%. The actions led to a corruption scheme that involved more than 400 companies and had been operating for a decade. Of the total - says Spinelli -, "only five of them sought the controllership to collaborate with the investigation and only one of them of their own free will".
Source: Online Value
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