Corruption

According to Canadian legislation, corruption is when a person in public office receives an undue reward to influence their behavior in office, contrary to the rules of honesty and integrity.

In Canada, both domestic and foreign corruption are criminal offences. Corrupt practices include:

  • embezzlement of funds
  • theft of corporate or public property
  • influence peddling
  • bribery
  • extortion

Examples of corruption

Bribery comes in different forms and can involve sophisticated schemes. Examples include:

  • Hiring a public official's unqualified relative to get a contract
  • Paying a public official not to do their job
  • Giving a public official extravagant gifts (such as cars, homes, furniture, etc.)
  • Making a large charitable donation (linked to a public official)
  • Paying for the education of the children of a public official
  • Diverting contracts, real or not, to an entity owned or linked to a public official (beneficial ownership)
  • Using agents or third parties to funnel bribes to a public official

The impact of corruption

Bribery:

  • raises serious moral and political concerns
  • undermines good governance and sustainable economic development
  • distorts the conditions of international competition

Corruption has devastating consequences for its victims. It contributes to the abuse of human rights by impairing developmental aid.

International action against corruption

According to the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development, all countries share a responsibility for combatting bribery in international business transactions. This goal requires a global strategy, coordinated and executed at the national level.

Canada is one of the 44 countries that signed the convention in 1997 and in 1999. The creation of the Corruption of Foreign Public Official Act made it illegal to pay bribes to foreign officials.

International Foreign Bribery Taskforce

The RCMP works in collaboration with national and international partners to investigate crimes. The RCMP is a member of the International Foreign Bribery Taskforce composed of:

  • the United States Federal Bureau of Investigations
  • Australian Federal Police
  • the United Kingdom National Crime Agency and the RCMP

The taskforce meets every year. They discuss trends and challenges in relation to foreign bribery of public officials. They provide an opportunity for members to share investigative methods and good practices.

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