Facilitation payments are relatively small amounts paid to speed up the provision of a routine service. The proposed prohibition on facilitation payments, if adopted, would mean Australia’s anti-bribery laws would be aligned more closely to the UK Bribery Act which does not allow a defence for facilitation payments.
KPMG understands that the Australian Government is currently considering submission following public comment on the proposed changes.
Removal of the facilitation payment defence means that businesses would no longer be able to legally make such payments. Although some businesses have now explicitly banned staff from making facilitation payments, those that have not should review their anti-bribery and corruption framework and consider the practical implications in order to prepare for this possible change.
Further, organisations that ban facilitation payments either as a result of overseas anti-bribery legislation and/or internal policy, should consider their approach to embedding and monitoring the effectiveness of these arrangements.
While this matter is being clarified, organisations should understand their obligations and the risks they face both domestically and internationally as our government takes an increasingly active role in fighting corruption globally.