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Anti-Corruption Risk Map – Argentina

By Vanina Caniza and Fernando Goldaracena (Baker McKenzie Buenos Aires)

Primary anti-bribery legislation and enforcement agencies

Argentine Criminal Code

Prohibits bribery of foreign and domestic public officials

Offenses

  1. Bribery: Prohibits government officials from:
    • receiving, personally or through an intermediary, money or other benefits/gifts; or
    • accepting a direct or indirect promise, in order to do or not to do something related to their duties ( 256 / 257)
  2. Influence Peddling: Penalizes anybody who, personally or through an intermediary, requests or receives money or benefits/gifts, or directly or indirectly accepts a promise of such, in order to make unlawful use of his influence before a government official (Sec. 256 “bis“)
  3. Transnational Bribe (foreign public officials): Penalizes anybody who offers or gives a foreign public official, directly or indirectly, anything of value, promises or advantages, in order to carry out, delay, or not to do something related to his/her duties (Sec. 258 “bis“)
  4. Unlawful Gifts (“D√°divas“): Penalizes any government official, who, while in public office, accepts any benefit/gift given by reason of such office; the person who presents or offers the gift is also subject to criminal prosecution. This crime does not require something in return from the government official. The mere giving or receiving of any benefit/gift results in a violation of the Criminal Code (Sec. 259).
  5. Financial Bribe: Penalizes employees and officers of financial institutions and those operating in the market who, by alleging false events, document transactions in the accounting books with the intent to obtain a benefit or cause losses (Sec. 311)
  6. Fraudulent Administration: Penalizes with two to six years of imprisonment anyone who commits fraud against the public administration (Sec. 174(5))
  7. Prosecuting agencies: Federal Criminal Courts – Anti-Corruption Office

Public Officials

Broad definition under the Argentine Criminal Code

Includes those who are temporarily or permanently involved in the exercise of public functions either by election or by appointment of a competent authority

A foreign public official is one who is from a foreign state or is part of an international public organization.

Corporate liability

There is no corporate liability for cases of corruption under the Argentine Criminal Code. Certain sections of the Argentine Criminal Code provide for corporations’ liability for money laundering and other related offenses.

Benefits for whistle-blowers in anti-corruption investigations

The National Congress has extended the benefits for whistle-blowers to crimes against the public administration (including, among others, corruption and fraud against public administration), by amending Section 41 ter of the Argentine Criminal Code (Executive’s Branch approval pending).

What is new on the Local Agenda (2016)

Due to change of government, anti-corruption is high on the political agenda.

There are several draft bills amending criminal legislation to include:

  1. provisions related to benefits for whistleblowers that collaborate with corruption investigations;
  2. non-applicability of statutory limitations to corruption crimes;
  3. acceleration of criminal investigations related to corruption schemes
  4. amendments to the Argentine Criminal Code to incorporate criminal liability provisions for corporations in certain cases; and
  5. impact of compliance programs and/or compliance officers on sanctions.

[1] This list is to be used as a guide only. It is intended to provide high-level information regarding the primary laws in the specified countries in relation to anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws. Please refer to the relevant legislation for detailed information and to ensure that the information contained in this guide is up-to-date, and refer to the relevant Baker & McKenzie contact for the jurisdiction for specific advice.