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The recently implemented Sistema Nacional Anticorrupción

Mexico has recently implemented the Sistema Nacional Anticorrupción (the “National Anti-Corruption System”) by the introduction of certain legal solutions to prevent bribery and corruption both in public bodies and corporations, following the trend of other countries’ legal systems.

In this legal framework, on July 19, 2017, the Ley General de Responsabilidades Administrativas (the “Law”) came into force providing, among others, a regime of administrative liability (substantially comparable to criminal liability) for legal entities, including public agencies and private or public companies, for certain crimes committed by their officers, managers or members.

In order to avoid any liability companies have to adopt what the Law calls “Política de Integridad”, which consists of a compliance program or, in other words, an organization, management and control model, aimed at preventing the commission of crimes (like bribery or corruption) by its officers, managers or members.

The adoption of such model, although not formally mandatory (companies may not be subject to a sanction just for the lack thereof), shall be taken into account, among other elements, by the competent federal or local authorities in order to determine the liability of the company, when any of its members, officers or managers gets involved in any act of corruption.

The Secretaria de la Función Pública recently released (on June 12, 2017) the business integrity program model setting out the criteria to be taken into account by companies when assessing their integrity policies.

Companies shall conduct a self-assessment exercise in order to verify whether their integrity policies comply or not with the new standards which include the following:

  • Agreements entered into with third parties including anti-corruption clauses.
  • Risk assessment carried out to identify risk areas and vulnerable positions within the company.
  • Action-related protocols and rules of contact with public officials.
  • Guidelines for conducting internal investigations and decision-making guidelines based on the results of such investigations.
  • Compliance with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) rules regarding turnover personnel in high-risk areas and positions regarding integrity matters.

It is highly advisable for the companies comply with the recently entered into force Law in order to minimize its exposure and contingency regarding this new system.

DISCLAIMER: the content of this news is for informational purposes only and neither represents, nor can be construed as a legal opinion