Miller & Chevalier and Matteson Ellis Law joined with 12 Latin American law firms in a survey of companies spanning 14 countries in the Americas to gain an understanding of the extent of corruption throughout the region, the effects of corruption on companies operating in those countries, perceptions of the effectiveness of regional anti-corruption laws, and the tools that companies are using to address corruption risks. The 2012 Latin America Corruption Survey was covered a few weeks ago in The Wall Street Journal and by Reuters.
A similar survey was conducted by Miller & Chevalier in 2008. The 2012 results, although consistent with some of the findings of the 2008 survey, show a variety of notable differences, suggesting a growing relevance of anti-corruptions laws in the region and increased attention to corporate compliance.
The survey, available in English, Spanish and Portuguese, was completed by 439 respondents. The following is a brief summary of the 2012 survey’s findings:
- Chile (76%) and the United States (70%) are seen as having the most effective anti-corruption laws of the countries examined. Paraguay (0%) and Guatemala (2%) received the lowest marks for the effectiveness of anti-corruption laws, based upon the survey responses.
- More companies are prioritizing compliance. Among companies publicly listed in the United States and operating in Latin America, 92% of have developed anti-corruption policies; 90% have implemented anti-corruption training; and 90% have established procedures for gifts, travel and entertainment for officials. 64% employ full-time compliance personnel.
- The most frequently implemented anti-corruption measures for multi-national, regional and local companies include anti-corruption policies (81%); procedures for gifts, travel and entertainment for officials (70%); procedures for charitable and community donations (63%); and anti-corruption training (61%).
- Effective government investigation and prosecution, coupled with enhanced accountability and transparency in the public sector, are seen as keys to reducing overall corruption.
- 64% of respondents say they are somewhat or very familiar with the FCPA. 41% say they are somewhat or very familiar with the UK Bribery Act (UKBA).
The complete results of the survey can be found in a comprehensive report.
This FCPAméricas blog article is not intended to provide legal advice to its readers. The blog entries and posts include only the thoughts, ideas, and impressions of its authors and contributors, and should be considered general information only about the Americas, anti-corruption laws including the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, issues related to anti-corruption compliance, and any other matters addressed. Nothing in this publication should be interpreted to constitute legal advice or services of any kind. Furthermore, information found on this blog should not be used as the basis for decisions or actions that may affect your business; instead, companies and businesspeople should seek legal counsel from qualified lawyers regarding anti-corruption laws or any other legal issue. The Editor and the contributors to this blog shall not be responsible for any losses incurred by a reader or a company as a result of information provided in this publication. For more information, please contact Info@MattesonEllisLaw.com.
The author gives his permission to link, post, distribute, or reference this article for any lawful purpose, provided attribution is made to the author. Copyright 2012 Matteson Ellis Law, PLLC
About the Author
Matteson Ellis is founder and principal of Matteson Ellis Law PLLC, a law firm focusing on U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) compliance and enforcement. He has extensive experience in a broad range of international anti-corruption areas. Before forming Matteson Ellis Law, he worked on FCPA and anti-corruption matters in the Washington, D.C., offices of Miller & Chevalier Chartered, Coudert Brothers LLP and The World Bank.