Companies need to have adequate anti-bribery processes that are effectively enforced. It is expected that the enforcement is performed at the top of the corporate hierarchy - boards and management - so that a strategy and objectives are set to promote the right culture.
Needless to say, the offering, giving or receiving of any reward for influencing the actions or behaviour of any individual is considered to be an act of bribery and is punishable under the Maltese Criminal Code. Corruption is intertwined with bribery as the commission of a dishonest action by a person or body entrusted with a position of authority and is done to benefit from a private gain.
Any individual involved in bribery will be liable to different imprisonment sentences depending on the stage of bribery that has been reached. This could vary from the period of offering, the acceptance and the failure to fulfil the action.
When the offender holds a high ranking office, has power of representation of a company, or holds authority to take decisions on behalf of a company, the said company may be liable to the payment of a fine (not less than €20,000 and not more than €2,000,000). Bribery and corruption are becoming a risk to all legal and physical persons so companies need to detect whether they are being exposed to these illegal activities.
It is the ultimate responsibility of a legal person’s management to identify and evaluate all the risks which makes a company subject to either act bribery or corruption. Several companies may notice that they do not currently have a systematic procedure in light of preventing bribery or corruption. Ensuring robust and comprehensive procedures are in place and their operation is evidenced can take considerable time and resources.
PwC can help you to familiarize and implement good practices, frameworks in line with Maltese and international legislation in order to achieve the goal of having an honest employer, employee and a legal body free from all bribery and corruption. Our assistance may include carrying out risk assessments, due diligence exercises, drafting clear practical and accessible policies and procedures, their effective implementation and constant monitoring and review.
Tax Partner, PwC Malta
Tel: +356 2564 6744
Senior Manager, PwC Malta
Tel: +356 2564 2343