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Colombia regulates the Leniency Program for transnational bribery and corruption

Fraud, Bribery & CorruptionColombia regulates the Leniency Program for transnational bribery and corruption

In brief

On 21 March 2024, the National Government issued the Decree 390 of 2024 (“Decree”), by which it established the procedure for granting the Leniency Program in transnational bribery and corruption (“Leniency Program”) matters.

Under the Leniency Program, it is possible to obtain full or partial immunity from possible sanctions for corruption and transnational bribery. In order to obtain the benefits of the Leniency Program, the company must provide relevant information on the aspects of the commission of such acts and the benefits obtained.

The Decree provides that the information to be provided to obtain the Leniency Program must:

In the case of transnational bribery:  be submitted by (i) the company’s legal representative, (ii)  its attorney; or (iii) any third party that demonstrates a legitimate interest in obtaining the Leniency Program. Likewise, the request must include: (i) the individuals involved in the conduct and their relationship to the company; (ii) the context of the facts; (iii) the foreign public official bribed; (iv) the thing of value offered, promised or delivered; (v) the purpose sought and obtained; (vi) the benefit obtained; (vii) the arguments and evidence for obtaining the Leniency Program; and (viii) inform whether the company has exercised the rights or fulfilled the obligations arising from the conduct.

In the case of corrupt practices (other than transnational bribery): must provide the following information: (i) identify the individual associated with the company with a criminal conviction or with a collaboration agreement with the Attorney General’s Office for the facts; (ii) know the context of the facts; (iii) identify the benefit sought or received by the company; (iv) verify how the company consented to or tolerated the conduct; and (v) provide the arguments and evidence to obtain the Leniency Program.

The request for Leniency Program may be made until the expiry of the time limit for filing a brief of defense in an administrative proceeding before the Division of Economic and Corporate Affairs of the Superintendence of Companies (“Division”) and must be addressed to said Division. In the case of a conduct involving more than one infringing company, the request submitted first shall be given priority. The order of receipt of the requests and the timeliness within (or before) the administrative procedure will be taken into account to determine the percentage of exoneration that may be recognized with respect to the sanctions to be imposed.

The granting of the Leniency Program will result in the termination of the administrative proceedings, with respect to the company receiving the Leniency Program, and may continue with respect to other involved companies.

For more detail, the Decree can be consulted in the following link.

Spanish version

Angelica Navarro

Angelica Navarro is a partner in Baker McKenzie’s Bogota office. She served as an advisor to the superintendent of Industry and Commerce on antitrust and merger control. Prior to that, she was an adviser to the director of the National Protection Unit, where she was in charge of the formulation and execution on protection and human rights programs. Previously, she worked as an associate at a legal services firm and an in-house attorney from the Mexichem Colombia company. She was selected by Global Competition Review, along with clients and colleagues to be included in the 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 Who’s Who Legal: Competition – Future Leaders publication as one of the most outstanding lawyers in the right of free competition under 45 years of age. Angelica was also recognized by Legal 500 in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and in 2021 as a “Next Generation lawyer” in competition law.

Paula Alejandra Galvis

Paula joined the firm in 2022, after working in consumer and competition area at a boutique law firm located in Bogotá, where she also gained experience in Intellectual Property and Corporative Law affairs. She is a lawyer from Universidad de los Andes (2021) and has a post-graduate degree in Market Regulation from Universidad Externado de Colombia.

Paula has special interest and experience in competition and consumer law, regulatory affairs and intellectual property law. She is currently part of the Antitrust & Competition team, where she advises different clients on matters regarding competition law, data privacy, consumer protection law and corporate compliance.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are independent views solely of the author(s) expressed in their private capacity.

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