Ukraine last month enacted a new law that requires companies to have in place a compliance program. The law further requires companies to appoint a compliance officer with responsibility for implementing the compliance program.
The new anti-corruption law, which took effect April 26, applies to almost all companies participating in public tenders and state-owned enterprises over a certain size. According to The FCPA Blog, the law encourages companies to:
Implement a Code of Conduct;
Establish procedures to monitor implementation of the compliance program;
Conduct regular risk assessments;
Develop programs to raise employee awareness about anti-corruption; and
Include compliance provisions in contracts with third parties.
The law also encourages companies to establish procedures for whistleblower to report misconduct. It further recommends that companies establish mechanisms for holding employees liable for violations.
The law doesn’t include penalties for failing to implement a compliance program. Enforcement officials, however, may consider the establishment—or lack thereof—of a compliance program in deciding whether to pursue a case.
“Thus, a compliance program will provide a company with some defense (though not an absolute defense as under the U.K. Bribery Act) in the event of an investigation,” The FCPA Blog reported. “Conversely, the absence of a program may be considered some evidence of guilt. This same approach will likely be used in cases involving companies that are not directly subject to the law.”