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On 20 Februrary 2017, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy published draft legislation, aiming at the creation of a Federal Register to protect the competition for public tenders and concessions (“Register zum Schutz des Wettbewerbs und um öffentliche Aufträge und Konzessionen”). Following an unsuccessful attempt in 2002, the German Public Administration pursues embedding a corruption blacklist at the federal level. The proposal advocates that a public register, administered by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, would serve as corruption blacklist for companies who themselves or who’s employees have been convicted of crimes and administrative offences.

Upon its enactment, the register would establish an effective and efficient regime to ban non-compliant companies from public tenders. Companies would become blacklisted for six to 36 months provided they were to be held accountable for a conviction by existing concepts of criminal and administrative law. Convictions relating to, amongst others, public and private corruption, money laundering, tax evasion, fraud, illegal employment, and violations of the minimum wage, would result in blacklisting. Correspondingly, strict compliance would reduce the sanction. Following a hearing of the company, public prosecution and public administrative authorities would be under the obligation to record their findings in the register.

In particular, those sectors that are highly dependent on public tenders are expected to increase compliance efforts (e.g. road construction, etc.). Given that both the industry and conservative economic politicians who historically opposed any such registry at the federal level, are seemingly in line with the proposal, it does have prospect for ratification. Needless to say that existing corruption blacklists that are currently operated at the level of Germany’s individual states may then become redundant.

The official press release can be read here


Nicolai is a member of the Global Compliance and Investigations Steering Committee and co-heads the compliance practice in Germany. He is a member of the Global Innovation Committee of Baker McKenzie and co-heads the innovation and legal tech team for Baker McKenzie Germany / Austria. He co-chairs the committee "International Affairs" of the German Institute for Compliance (DICO). Nicolai is a regular speaker and author on compliance, white collar crime, innovation and legal tech topics. He is the founder of and both founder and editor of