House of Representatives
Thursday, 7 May 2015
Organised Crime and Anti-corruption Legislation Bill
David Clendon, in Committee, to move the following amendment:
After clause 6(4) (page 8, line 10), insert:
Repeal section 105C(3).
This Supplementary Order Paper amends clause 6 of the Bill to repeal section 105C(3) of the Crimes Act 1961.
Section 105C(3) currently provides an exception to the criminal sanction that otherwise applies to the bribery of a foreign public official if the act that is alleged to constitute the offence was committed for the sole or primary purpose of ensuring or expediting the performance by a foreign public official of a routine government action, and the value of the benefit is small.
The effect of this provision is to legalise facilitation or “grease” payments made to foreign public officials to facilitate such activities as the granting of permits or licences, the provision of utility services, and the loading or unloading of cargo.
These “grease” payments are bribes, no matter their size, and help maintain a culture in some overseas jurisdictions where low-level corruption is permitted and accepted as normal practice when working in some overseas jurisdictions.
Internationally, New Zealand is seen as a leader in public sector ethics and transparency. The outlawing of the controversial and unethical practice of facilitation payments will help uphold this international perception and bring New Zealand in line with the positions already taken by jurisdictions such as the United Kingdom and Australia.