Corruption in the IT sector has been rife of late (for further details please see "IT sector proceedings raise wider anti-corruption issues").
Due to several instances of corruption, the European Commission has suspended all subsides for the development of this sector in Poland.
In an extensive interview with Gazeta Wyborcza – Poland's most influential daily newspaper – Paweł Wojtunik, head of the Central Anti-corruption Bureau, confirmed that the former commercial directors of HP and IBM have been detained. He also emphasised that the case is ongoing and that further detentions are expected both among state officials and within the commercial sector.
The bureau is becoming increasingly skilled in its tactics to trace the intricacies of corruption links within the IT sector. Several days after the interview, an influential police officer and two members of the management board of NetLine – a well-known IT services provider for the police force – were arrested.
Such ongoing developments again raise the question of whether prosecuting authorities will be given access to the results of global companies' internal proceedings. If they are refused such access, some interesting legal issues can be expected: how will foreign law enforcement authorities react if Polish authorities request evidence from them? Will Polish authorities be allowed to make use of data from international IT companies provided to foreign law enforcement authorities (eg, under the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or similar regulations) that have instituted relevant proceedings? This may be of paramount importance to penal proceedings in Poland, since Polish investigating officers will find certain facts impossible to establish or prove without cooperation from foreign entities.
The recent developments in this area may contribute to changes and innovations to Polish anti-corruption legislation and inspire a discussion on whether it would be rational to adopt an act similar to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in Poland.
For further information on this topic please contact Jarosław Kruk at Kruk & Partners by telephone (+48 22 825 5650), fax (+48 22 825 0980) or email ([email protected]).