Ethisphere promotes 2nd edition of the Latin America Ethics Summit in São Paulo

The Ethisphere Institute promotes on July 16 and 17, at Hotel Unique, in São Paulo, the 2014 Second Annual Latin America Ethics Summit. The event should bring together business leaders, specialists in administrative integrity, government officials to discuss the challenges of compliance in Latin America. Formatted to offer participants subsidies to develop compliance programs suited to the challenges of the continent, the program reserves a special panel on the Brazilian Anti-Corruption Law. ETCO members have a 30% discount on registration, by entering the promotional code ETCO30LAES.

Date: 16th and 17th of July
Location: Hotel Unique - São Paulo (SP)
Address: Avenida Brigadeiro Luís Antônio, 4700 - Jardim Paulista - 01402-002
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III Seminar I Do Not Accept Corruption

Seminar scheduled for August 12, in São Paulo, will be held by the Movement of the Democratic Public Ministry

In the context of the campaign I do not accept corruption and on the occasion of the approaching of the October elections, after discussing Control of Corruption and the Law on Access to Public Information, we promoted the III Seminar I do not accept Corruption, placing electoral corruption, the new anti-corruption law and impunity on the agenda: how to face it?

Date: 12 for August
Location: Paulista Wall Street - São Paulo (SP)
Address: Rua Itapeva, 636 - Jardins
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For Hage, Law 12.846 / 2013 brings a clear message: corruption does not pay

Jorge Hage, Chief Minister of the Comptroller General of the Union (Photo: Agência Brasil)

Irreversible advance

In effect since January 29 this year, although not yet regulated, Law No. 12.846 / 2013 is the most recent piece added to the construction, started in 2003, of the Brazilian Anticorruption System. This is its true meaning, and not that of an isolated initiative, resulting from the 2013 protests, as I have read in misinformed articles. If the protests sensitized Congress, accelerating its approval, great; but do not omit that ex-president Lula sent this project still in 2010.

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Anticorruption Law changes business environment in Brazil

The entry into force of Law 12.846, which establishes new rules for the punishment of acts of corruption in companies, introduces new paradigms in the country's business environment

After the 180-day period for adapting to the new rules, the so-called Anti-Corruption Law came into force on January 29. Sanctioned by President Dilma Rousseff in August 2013 in response to the wave of protests in June, Law 12.846 will target companies that commit acts against the public administration. The change represents a paradigm break from the legal point of view, since the previous rules only punished individuals, leaving companies aside.

Until then, companies that benefited from corruption were limited to paying their executives' lawyers, and accusations of administrative impropriety and marked letter bids almost always ran up against the difficulty in producing evidence. For lawyer Leonardo Ruiz Machado, responsible for the Corporate Integrity area of ​​Machado Meyer Sendacz and Opice Advogados, the new law changes this concept.

In an article published in the Valor Econômico newspaper, Machado states that the Anticorruption Law, taking as a parameter the foreign laws FCPA (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) and the UK Bribery Act, introduces the company's strict liability, which can be punished even if its directors have not the illegal act is authorized. In this case, if a partner, contracted or consortium employee offers or pays an improper advantage to a public employee, the penalties will be applied to the company.

The sanctions provided for by Brazilian law are heavy and provide for an administrative fine of up to 20% of the company's gross revenue. There are also penalties in the civil sphere, such as a ban on receiving public incentives and investments and even compulsory dissolution, a “corporate death penalty” in the view of lawyers Pierpaolo Cruz Bottini and Igor Tamasauskas, manifested in an article published by Folha de S. Paulo also in January.

According to Bottini and Tamasauskas, the legislator's idea is that the company not only looks after its reputation, but also ensures the ethical behavior of those with whom it works. There is a limit to common sense, given the impossibility of fully understanding the character of partners or employees, but the objective is to encourage the corporation to develop internal control systems to ensure that all employees maintain a correct posture in relation to the government.

This concern is evident with the possibility of reducing the sanction for the company that maintains internal mechanisms to prevent illegal acts, codes of ethics, regular audits and channels for complaints. The objective is to encourage business commitment to an ethical culture.

For lawyers, the impacts of the law have already been felt. Most corporations have revised or created rules of good conduct, established strict standards of behavior and began to collaborate with investigations on their premises. Unlike so many laws that “don't stick,” the Anti-Corruption Law took effect even before it came into force.

Despite the positive impact, the new law brings vagueness that can lead to important legal questions. For Machado, the lack of a single administrative body responsible for law enforcement, such as Cade in the competitive sphere, tends to generate legal uncertainty, one of the major causes of the judicialization of the administrative process.

Anticorruption and compliance law under debate at ETCO

COO of the American NGO, Craig Moss deepened the discussion on the topic with companies from different sectors

The COO - Chief Operating Officer of the American NGO, Craig Moss, visited the ETCO headquarters in São Paulo on the morning of October 31, when he was able to discuss the importance of the compliance and the impacts that the new Anticorruption Law (Law 12.846 / 2013) will have on companies that operate in Brazil.

The debate took place with representatives of the legal and legal departments compliance from Amgen, Microsoft, Philip Morris, Raízen, SKY and UOL, and also counted on the presence of ETCO's Executive Director, Heloisa Ribeiro, and the Institute's Executive President, Roberto Abdenur.

“In general, companies are very reactive in terms of compliance, wait for the crisis to happen before acting. We need to change this paradigm and invest in proactivity, precisely to prevent crises from happening, ”said Moss, who stressed the importance of team commitment and engagement so that companies can make the compliance area a reality. “It is necessary to train committed people to follow the company's procedures and policies on a routine basis. Only then can the topic really advance in companies ”, he said.

By applying a questionnaire on the topic to those present, Moss was able to verify that some companies are already well advanced in terms of policies and dissemination of the idea of compliance among your employees. However, some are still in very early stages, working to adapt the company to future application and the requirements of the Anti-Corruption Law.

This was the second meeting promoted in partnership by ETCO and with companies operating in Brazil. The first took place in June, when CEO Pamela Passman was present. In both events, was on hand to assist companies in making their self-assessment and progress in implementing good practices related to compliance and, also, protection of intellectual property. is a global, non-profit organization, focused on protecting Intellectual Property and on tools to fight corruption. It shares good practices and helps companies to build efficient systems for protecting Intellectual Property and fighting corruption, providing evaluations, training and improvement programs. Find out at

Debates encourage evaluation of the impact of the Anti-Corruption Law for companies

The approval of the Anticorruption Law has fostered a series of discussions about the impact of the decision for Brazilian companies and the benefits that the whole society will have with the possibility of holding corporations - and not just individuals - accountable in cases of corruption.

On September 17, lawyer Lanny A. Breuer gave a lecture at Fundação Getulio Vargas Law School, in São Paulo, with the support of ETCO. The event addressed the impact of the law on Brazilian and international companies that invest in Brazil.

Head of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice between 2009 and 2013, Lanny A. Breuer was named by the National Law Journal as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in the United States and specializes in issues related to public corruption, money laundering, fraud financial crime, cyber crimes and intellectual property.

Despite having little familiarity with Brazilian law, Breuer recognized the importance of approving the project. According to him, dealing with public integrity, one of the functions of the US Department of Justice, is a big responsibility. "The laws against corruption are always strong, just apply them," he said.

The lawyer considered, however, that the creation of compliance departments in companies due to new legislation cannot be restricted to a single area of ​​the company. "Compliance cannot be just an item to be crossed out on a list," he said.

For Breuer, finding and combating cases of corruption must be a priority for all countries, including the United States and Brazil. “One of the reasons that led to the Arab Spring in the Middle East was corruption. Younger people no longer accept this and saw an opportunity to make things better, ”he said.

"Good will"
On September 27, the Brazilian Institute of Corporate Governance (IBGC) promoted a debate that also addressed the Anti-Corruption Law. The need to change the behavior of companies, and not just the creation of compliance areas, was discussed among the participants.

For lawyer Leonardo Machado, from Machado Meyer Sendacz and Opice, the popular demonstrations registered since June anticipated the approval of the law. “This type of legislation does not come by chance. It was a negotiation between those who have good will and good faith against those who had no interest, ”he said.

According to him, the Comptroller General of the Union (CGU) is preparing a decree that will say what is a compliance program structured for the Brazilian reality.

According to Juliana Breno, Manager of Forensic Services at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, there is still a great deal of skepticism on the part of companies regarding the Anti-Corruption Law. “As long as there is no severe punishment, there will be this feeling of impunity. Compliance must add value, it must happen in practice. ”