Our corporate responsibility
Our commitment to anti-corruption
At Export Finance Australia, we’re committed to deterring bribery and corruption in all aspects of our business, including in the transactions we support, through our anti-corruption initiatives.
We undertake robust due diligence, including checks against financial crime, bribery, corruption and sanctions prior to providing any financial support.
We apply the OECD Recommendation on Bribery and Officially Supported Export Credits, applying these standards before providing financial support. We also apply these standards more broadly than required by this OECD recommendation across our products. This includes us requiring certain anti-bribery declarations from our customers.
We also have law enforcement and regulator relationships. We share information with AUSTRAC, the Australian Federal Police and other relevant agencies and regulators in accordance with applicable laws and our policies and procedures. This includes instances where we suspect criminal activity has occurred or may occur.
As a Commonwealth agency, Export Finance Australia and its employees are defined as public officials and are therefore subject to the National Anti-Corruption Commission’s (NACC) jurisdiction. The NACC is an independent Commonwealth agency that detects, investigates and reports on serious or systemic corruption in the Commonwealth public sector. Furthermore, where an entity provides goods or services to Export Finance Australia, under a Commonwealth contract, they may also be subject to the jurisdiction of the NACC as a contracted service provider.
What happens if your business engages in bribery or corruption?
If you engage in bribery or corruption, or if we suspect criminal activity has occurred or may occur, we may:
- refer evidence or information about corrupt activity to the appropriate authorities, such as the Australian Federal Police or AUSTRAC
- take appropriate action permitted by law, including exercising remedies available to us under our transaction documentation or contractual arrangements.
What should you be doing to comply with anti-bribery laws?
Check out the Bribery Prevention Network. This is a public–private partnership between Australian Government entities and the private sector. The website is a great starting point for understanding what steps you need to take to comply with Australian anti-bribery laws.
It is your responsibility to comply with all laws relevant to your export transactions. However, we’d like to draw your attention to the applicable law on bribery and corruption contained within the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). In particular, bribery of domestic or foreign public officials (both defined broadly) are serious criminal offences carrying heavy penalties, including up to 10 years imprisonment and fines of up to the higher of $21 million, three times the value of the benefit obtained, or 10 per cent of annual turnover in the year the offence was committed. Certain acts committed internationally constitute criminal offences in Australia. The Criminal Code Act also contains offences linked to the proceeds and instruments of crime (funds generated by, or used to conduct, an illegal activity) that also attract significant penalties.
It is also your responsibility to comply with other applicable laws in Australia, including:
- State and Territory laws that apply to other forms of bribery. For example, in New South Wales, this is governed by the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)
- the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) that imposes duties of good faith on directors and officers of corporations, and prohibits them from improperly using information or their position to gain an advantage for themselves or a third party
- the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) that prohibits certain kinds of conduct.
The Crimes Legislation Amendment (Combatting Corporate Crime) Bill 2019 (Cth) is set to further strengthen Australia’s laws in this regard. This will likely include a new corporate offence, under which your Australian business may be held criminally liable for bribery engaged in by your third party ‘associates’ (such as officers, employees, agents, representatives, contractors and subsidiaries) unless your business can establish it had ‘adequate procedures’ in place.
When involved in international business transactions, you will also need to familiarise yourself with, and comply with, all relevant laws and regulations prohibiting bribery in the country or jurisdiction where you are conducting business.
Our policies, procedures and practices for anti-corruption
We have several policies, procedures and practices that help us identify, address and mitigate the risk of corrupt activity (including bribery) occurring, including within the transactions and projects we support. These include our:
- anti-bribery and corruption policy
- transactional anti-bribery and corruption procedures
- anti-bribery declarations
- anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing (AML/CTF) program
- transaction risk assessment
- contractual documentation requirements
- modern slavery policy.
More broadly across our business, we also have in place policies, procedures and practices including a:
- fraud control policy and plan
- supplier code of conduct
- procurement and contracts governance policy
- incident reporting policy
- public interest disclosure policy and procedure
- code of conduct
- gifts and benefits policy
- mandatory ongoing compliance training for all employees
- human rights statement that reflects our responsibilities in respecting human rights.
It is strongly encouraged that you view the following resources for further information:
• The Bribery Prevention Network is a public–private partnership between Australian Government entities and the private sector. The website is a great starting point for understanding what steps you need to take to comply with Australian anti-bribery laws.
• The Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website sets out information on the consequences of engaging in bribery or corruption.
• The Attorney-General’s Department’s Foreign Bribery website includes other resources on bribery and corruption, including an online learning module.