The Parliament of Canada enacted the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (CFPOA) in 1998 in response to international criticism that it was not doing enough to combat bribery, and to satisfy its obligations under the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials, which Canada signed in 1997. In 2008, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) established two international anti-corruption units, in Ottawa, Ontario and Calgary, Alberta, that are responsible for CFPOA enforcement.
The CFPOA addresses international corruption in two ways: (1) through provisions prohibiting individuals and businesses from bribing foreign-government officials to obtain influence, and (2) through accounting and recordkeeping provisions that prohibit destruction or falsification of books and records to conceal corrupt payments. The purposes of these provisions are to halt the bribery of foreign officials, restore public confidence in the integrity of the Canadian business system, reduce the cost of corruption and promote stronger and more reliable foreign legal regimes.
If convicted of a CFPOA violation, individuals and companies are subject to unlimited fines, and individuals may be imprisoned for up to 14 years. In addition, a company may be debarred from doing business with the Canadian government and working on World Bank-funded projects.
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