He said Section 17A of the MACC Act 2009 which came into effect on June 1 allows the anti-graft body to go after companies involved in corrupt practices
“As the new law has not been tested yet, the MACC will be setting a standard threshold on the value of the project that commercial organisations are involved in,” said Azam
He said the MACC understood that at this moment, not all commercial organisations had set up adequate procedures yet.
"However, organisations such as public-listed companies and companies involved in projects valued in huge amounts must ensure that they have set up adequate procedure," he said in his speech at the Corporate Liability - Are You At Risk Forum here on Tuesday (Sept 15).
Azam said the seriousness of the offence under Section 17A should not be disregarded as the director, controller, officer or partner of a commercial organisation, as well as those in the management of the organisation’s affairs, would also be liable under the provision.
"Section 17A aims at having all and if not most companies in Malaysia prepared with preventive measures against corruption in its management.
"The corporate world cannot hide, 'sacrificing' individual employees; they must be accountable for the actions of employees,” he said.
Azam added that the implementation of Section 17A was a preventative, and not punitive, measure.
“The MACC will not be knocking on the door of each commercial organisation to show that it has implemented adequate procedures. The company must prove that it has done all that it can to ensure that anyone associated with it or employed by it does not commit corruption,” he said.
Azam said that companies could prove this by showing that adequate procedures were communicated, implemented and enforced effectively within the company.
He added that the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department had issued guidelines on what could be seen as adequate measures in line with Section 17A; moreover, the National Centre for Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption had also prepared a guidebook on the guidelines on adequate procedures which can be downloaded at www.giacc.jpm.gov.my.
"As mentioned in the guidelines, its objectives are merely to assist the commercial organisation in understanding what adequate procedures should be implemented in its organisation to prevent the occurence of corrupt practices in their business activities," he said.