About the consultation: Expanding Canada's toolkit to address corporate wrongdoing

This consultation closed on November 17, 2017 (11:59 pm Pacific time). Submissions were accepted until December 8, 2017 (11:59 pm Pacific time).

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Unethical, improper and illegal business practices

Corporate wrongdoingFootnote 1 imposes significant economic, political and social costs. Behaviours linked to corporate wrongdoing have serious consequences, including:

  • undermining fair competition
  • threatening the integrity of markets
  • constituting barriers to economic growth
  • increasing the cost and the risk of doing business
  • undermining public and investor confidence

What governments are doing to stop it

Many governments, including Canada's, are committed to taking action against improper, unethical and illegal business practices and holding companies criminally liable for such conduct. This is achieved through a framework of laws, regulations, governance frameworks, policies and programs and more that seek to detect, prevent and address such practices.

The stability of the marketplace is inextricably linked to a good and stable government. Companies are also playing a role by implementing stronger internal controls, governance structures, codes of conduct and compliance regimes. Taken together, these efforts have sought to strengthen the corporate compliance culture so as to enhance a healthy and competitive Canadian marketplace.

The Government of Canada has implemented a number of measures to deter companies from participating in corporate misconduct, including legislative measures such as the:

  • Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act
  • Competition Act
  • Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act

And non-legislative initiatives such as:

  • Public Services and Procurement Canada's (PSPC) Code of Conduct for Procurement
  • Fairness Monitoring Program
  • Anti-Fraud Tip Line (joint initiative of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Competition Bureau and PSPC)
  • Government-wide Integrity Regime

The Government of Canada recognizes that it is important to continually assess whether the right tools are in place to address corporate wrongdoing.

Considering enhancements to the Integrity Regime

After introducing a government-wide Integrity Regime over two years ago, it is useful to review whether it is achieving its objectives and whether it is efficient in doing so. Within the context of the government's procurement modernization initiative, this assessment was an opportunity to consider how the regime addresses new trends and risks in a constantly changing marketplace. The Integrity Regime is designed to ensure that the government does business with ethical suppliers and incents further efforts by suppliers to ensure strong ethics and effective compliance frameworks.

Considering a Canadian deferred prosecution agreement regime

This assessment was also an opportunity to consider the possibility of introducing a Canadian deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) regime as an additional tool for prosecutors, to be used in appropriate circumstances, to address corporate crime. Under a DPA, criminal prosecution is suspended on the accused agreeing to fulfil certain requirements including admitting to facts that would support a conviction, paying a significant financial penalty and cooperating with authorities, on completion of which, charges will be withdrawn.

DPAs are intended to ensure that corporate criminal conduct is subject to effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties and to assist in meeting other objectives, including increasing detection and improving compliance and corporate culture. At the same time, a DPA regime may also help to mitigate unintended consequences associated with a criminal conviction for blameless employees, customers, pensioners, suppliers and investors. Additionally, in some cases, a criminal conviction could lead to job losses and wider negative implications to the economy.

Consultation objectives

The Government of Canada launched a consultation to seek stakeholder views on enhancing the Integrity Regime and on a possible Canadian DPA regime.

Consultation timeline

The consultation took place between September 25 and November 17, 2017 (23:59 pm Pacific time). Submissions were accepted until December 8, 2017 (11:59 pm Pacific time).

Privacy

Protection of your privacy is important to us, the personal information on this consultation was collected on a voluntary basis. All personal identifiers were anonymized.

Contact us

Organization:
Government of Canada
Address:
Portage III Tower A 10A1
11 Laurier St
Gatineau QC  K1A 9S5
Email:
tpsgc.dgsiggjapdconsulter-dobifamgdpaconsult.pwgsc@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca
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