KUALA LUMPUR: Having an anti-corruption framework in place could serve as a company’s best defence if they are slapped with corruption allegations when Section 17A of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 is enforced.
MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya said the agency was on track to enforce the Corporate Liability clause by June next year, about two years since it was 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 an 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.
The CeIOs are qualified to advise corporate bodies on the setting up of an anti-corruption framework as a means to prevent graft.
As the deadline looms, Latheefa said the MACC Academy, which is responsible for training CeIOs, had seen a spike in requests.
Provisions under Section 17A of the MACC Act 2009 criminalises commercial organisations if their employees or associates had committed bribery and they won’t go down alone.
If an organisation commits an offence, company directors, controllers, officers, partners or managers are deemed to have committed the same 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 the higher amount; 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.