Three men jailed for foreign bribery offences

Three men were sentenced to four years jail and fined $250,000 each for conspiring to bribe a public official in Iraq with over $1 million in order to give their company unfair access to contracts for large scale infrastructure construction projects. The men had previously pleaded guilty to the charges. This landmark sentencing decision brings to a close Australia’s second foreign bribery prosecution. A summary of the decision is available on our website here, and our reflections on key learnings from the decision are available here.  

Parliamentary Joint Committee proposes widespread reform to whistleblowing legislation in Australia

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services has proposed widespread changes to Australia’s whistleblowing legislation, including recommendations to streamline existing legislation, implement a reward system for whistleblowers, establish a statutory Whistleblower Protection Authority, broaden existing legislative protections for whistleblowers and enhance remedies. A copy of the report is available here. A summary of the proposed reforms is available on our website here.

Australia and China sign protocol to strengthen cooperation in police work and combating transnational crime

Chinese and Australian police have recently signed a protocol to strengthen cooperation in police work and combating transnational crime. A formal agreement on economic crime cooperation was also signed.  

Engineering company restricted from participation in World Bank projects

Five subsidiary entities of an Australian engineering company have negotiated a settlement with the World Bank to be restricted from participating in World Bank projects for between six and 30 months. The settlement follows allegations of improper payments being made in connection with World Bank funded projects in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.   

Victorian public servant jailed for conspiracy to defraud and secret commission offences

An employee of Victoria’s transport department has been sentenced to imprisonment for 8 years and 9 months after pleading guilty to three charges of receiving a secret commission and one charge of conspiring to defraud the State by awarding contracts to companies in which he had an undisclosed interest. The court also made a pecuniary penalty order of $1.375 million in respect of profits derived from the offences.