The French Anti-Corruption Agency Publishes Its 2019 Annual Activity Report

Jones Day

The French Anti-Corruption Agency ("FAA") report details key statistics relating to the controls the FAA carried out in 2019 and lessons to be drawn from this activity.

On 9 July 2020, the FAA published its 2019 annual activity report. The report details key statistics relating to the controls the FAA carried out in 2019, as well as the lessons to be drawn from this activity. It also highlights the enhanced cooperation between the FAA and foreign counterpart services and authorities.

2019: Key Figures

In 2019, the FAA continued its advisory and control activities on a sustained basis:

  • 36 own-initiative controls were conducted, including 20 controls on private entities, three "global controls" on CAC 40 companies, 12 "thematic controls" on companies whose sector of activity is particularly exposed to the risk of corruption, five "follow-up controls" after a warning issued by the director of the FAA, and 16 controls on public entities (these are controls conducted at the sole discretion of the FAA);
  • Four controls opened in 2018 and continued in 2019 related to the execution of a judicial settlement of public interest (Convention judiciaire d'intérêt public, a mechanism akin to a Deferred Prosecution Agreement);
  • 69 awareness-raising interventions on anticorruption issues were conducted, notably in the course of corporate seminars and conferences, and 50 training sessions on the prevention of corruption were conducted;
  • The first-ever referral to the Sanctions Commission.

New Lessons Drawn From FAA Inspections

The FAA pointed to new lessons drawn from its 2019 inspections:

  • The commitment of the governing bodies ("tone at the top") is progressing but remains generally insufficient;
  • The methodologies used by companies related to risk mapping and third-party assessment are not precise enough, though codes of conduct, trainings or internal alerts procedures are generally well-crafted;
  • Breaches due to the total absence of a measure or procedure are becoming more rare; breaches relate generally to noncompliance or failure to deploy the measure or procedure in question.

Enhanced International Cooperation on Foreign Bribery

The FAA noted ways in which its work is being enhanced through cooperation with counterparts in other countries:

  • Carrying out cooperation, support and technical assistance activities with foreign anti-corruption agencies and authorities;
  • Strengthening of administrative coordination in the framework of international organizations (Network of Corruption Prevention Authorities);
  • Intensification of the FAA's mission for a coordinated resolution of foreign bribery cases (in particular with the UK Serious Fraud Office and the U.S. Department of Justice).

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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