“The Federal Ministry of Justice has submitted a draft of the “Law on The Fight against Corporate Crime”. For the first time, the new regulation targets not only individuals involved, but in particular the companies themselves. In the event of a structural failure or misconduct the associations will be sanctioned severely.
According to the plans of the Federal Ministry of Justice,
- the maximum amount of an administrative fine against companies will be increased from ten million euros (Section 30 of the Administrative Offences Code/OWiG) to ten percent of group sales, if the companies achieves an annual turnover of at least 100 million euros,
- Compliance measures and internal investigations as well as intense cooperation with the investigating authorities will be taken into account mitigating the level of the penalty,
- improvement of the rights of employees being interviewed by employees,
- acts are sanctioned irrespectively if committed at in Germany or abroad and
- if there is an initial suspicion, an formal obligation of investigation by the authorities is introduced. Instead of the principle of opportunity, which has hitherto been applied and which put prosecution at the discretion of the authorities.
Against this background, companies now should analyze the emerging risks thoroughly and have their compliance and compliance management systems reviewed and optimized, especially in regard to business activities abroad. Furthermore, companies should establish effective risk management systems that meet the increased regulatory requirements. Only with a comprehensive overview of the existing civil and criminal risks as well as a high expertise in legal standards one can develop and optimize an effective risk and compliance control system for each single company. Mr. Klengel draws on a very high level of expertise and many years of experience in these areas and is therefore able to prepare companies in the best possible way for the upcoming changes.”