Settlements can provide an important channel to hold companies to account for wrongdoings and resolve foreign bribery and other cases without resorting to a full trial (civil or criminal), or contested administrative proceeding.

Yet, their deterrent effect can be questionable if they are not transparent, and do not provide effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions and if there is no judicial process. Finally, there should be reparations for the victims of the offence.

Recent corruption scandals have shown the negative effects that corruption may have in countries around the world, including those of the Latin American and Caribbean region. The Inter-American Development Bank has therefore convened an independent group of experts composed by eight governance and anti-corruption scholars and practitioners to identify innovative and effective approaches to combat corruption in the region.

The Basel Institute on Governance participated in several workshops between 8 and 9 October 2012 with key stakeholders of the South African anti-corruption system (Asset Forfeiture Unit of the National Prosecuting Authority, Special Investigating Unit, Department of Public Service Administration, South African Revenue Services, National Treasury, Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigations of the South African Police Services) at a special session hosted by the Anti-Corruption Task Team (ACTT).

Corruption undermines nearly all key legal and developmental priorities today, including the effective functioning of democratic institutions and honest elections; environmental protection; human rights and human security; international development programs; and fair competition for global trade and investment.

New anti-corruption laws and intensified law enforcement, in particular in OECD Member States, are motivating companies to implement sound anti-corruption compliance programmes. They will help reduce risk, but they may also serve as a business argument. Yet, companies are increasingly voicing the need for a harmonised approach to compliance. The OECD Guidance enacted in 2010 may well serve as a template for such a standard since it has been adopted by the Member States of the OECD by unanimity.

The transition process in many countries in Central and Eastern Europe from a one-party state to a democratic system has been long and difficult and has frequently been accompanied by institutional instability.

The judiciary and law enforcement bodies have been no exception. Both have suffered from a weak legal tradition in many countries of the region, weak implementation of existing legislation, limited operational effectiveness, corruption and the influence of informal personal networks. These developments can also be observed in the area of financial intelligence.

An expert from the International Centre for Asset Recovery, a part of the Basel Institute on Governance, visited Mozambique between 10-14 October with a view to conduct an on-site assessment of the anti-corruption legislative package that had been proposed by the Council of Ministers to the Assembly of the Republic. The project, jointly financed by USAID and DfID, sought to assess the impact of the package in the Mozambican legal system, as well as to benchmark it with the international and regional standards on preventing and combating corruption.