KUALA LUMPUR: Having an anti-corruption framework in place could be a company's best defence if they are slapped with corruption allegations, once Section 17A of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 is fully implemented.
MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya said the agency is on track to enforce the corporate liability clause by June next year, about two years since it was first passed in April 2018.
"There is a clause within the section which says that it is a defence for a corporate company or entity if they have anti-corruption framework in place," she said at a graduation ceremony for recently certified integrity officers (CeIO) at the Kuala Lumpur City Hall training institute in Cheras.
A total of 182 CeIOs were recognised at the ceremony.
With the new addition, there are now 995 CeIOs in Malaysia.
As the deadline looms, Latheefa said the MACC Academy (MACCA), which is responsible for training CeIOs, have seen a spike in requests.
The CeIOs are qualified to advise corporate bodies on setting an anti-corruption framework in place as a means to prevent graft within the entity.
Provisions under Section 17A of the MACC Act 2009 criminalises commercial organisations if their employees or associates had committed bribery.
If an organisation commits an offence, senior management including directors, controllers, officers, partners or managers are deemed to have committed the same offence, unless they are able to prove that steps were implemented to prevent them from doing so.
If convicted, companies could face a fine not less than 10 times the value of the gratification or RM1mil, whichever is higher; imprisonment for a term not exceeding 20 years; or both.
"The challenge is now for the entities to make sure they have adequate measures in place," she said.