Green Party introduces amendment to curb ‘facilitation payments’

The Green Party is today introducing two amendments to Organised Crime and Anti-corruption Legislation Bill which would make it illegal to bribe officials in order to do business overseas.

The Green Party is today introducing two amendments to Organised Crime and Anti-corruption Legislation Bill which would make it illegal to bribe officials in order to do business overseas.

Green Party Justice Spokesperson David Clendon’s first amendment would make it illegal for anyone here to make so called ‘facilitation payments’ to overseas officials in order to carry out their business, and a second amendment would limit the prohibition to deals done by the Government and public sector.

The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) prohibits facilitation payments and the OECD has called for all countries, including New Zealand, to prohibit making them.

“These amendments are an opportunity for New Zealand to live up to its reputation as a corruption free country, and an honest player on the international stage,” Mr Clendon said.

“When bribes are made in New Zealand’s name, our country’s reputation suffers.

“Other countries, including the United Kingdom, have made such payments illegal and its time New Zealand followed suit.

“A country like New Zealand should be in a position to ratify an international convention against corruption, but with this exception on the statutes we can’t.

“New Zealand trades on its reputation as an honest player on the world stage and at the very least the Government should ensure that any business done in its name is free of corruption and totally above board.”

  • Mr Clendon’s first amendment removes section S105C(3) of the Crimes Act which provides an exception to the crime of bribery of a foreign public official.
  • His second, amendment would exclude Ministers, Members of Parliaments and the public sector from the s105C(3) exception.

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