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Bribery of foreign public officials

Bribery of foreign public officials is a crime. Australian individuals and companies can be prosecuted in Australia for bribing foreign officials when overseas. Australian businesses also need to be aware of how anti-bribery laws of other countries may apply to them including different laws around facilitation payments.

For more information, including in relation to facilitation payments, go to the Attorney General's Department on foreign bribery.

Working with Austrade

The Australian Government has a zero tolerance approach to bribery and corruption.

Since 2010, Austrade has undertaken a series of initiatives to ensure all its practices comply with the anti-bribery provisions contained in section 70 of the Australian Criminal Code.

Among these initiatives was a mandatory training program for all staff outlining their responsibilities with respect to the anti-bribery provisions. Transparency International Australia and the Australian Federal Police both reviewed Austrade's training program, which was completed with 100 per cent participation by staff.

Austrade has also updated its policies and client documentation, including its Service Policy Handbook, making it clear in its service proposals, for example, that it cannot assist firms which pay bribes.

In addition Australian businesses operating in international markets are advised of their ethical and legal obligations under Australian law.

Austrade's policy is that Austrade officers should not make or arrange facilitation payments.

Any Austrade official who suspects an individual or a company of being involved in corruption must report the concern to authorities.

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Anti-bribery Training

Materials from the training undertaken in 2011 are attached here for information purposes. While this material may be of assistance to companies and individuals in assessing their training needs, Austrade recommends that current legal advice specific to individual circumstances be sought. Austrade undertakes a range of training with its staff on governance and ethical issues, including an annual all-staff governance compliance module.

Download presentation (PDF, 1.5MB)

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