By John Hancock and Ross Taylor (Baker McKenzie Myanmar)
Primary foreign anti-bribery legislation and enforcement agencies
Anti-Corruption Law 2013 (“ACL”)
Enforcement Agency: The Anti-Corruption Commission
Penal Code 1861
Enforcement Agency: Anti-bribery action taking departments from different ministries, the Bureau of Special Investigation, Ministry of Home Affairs, Township Courts, District Courts, Divisional or State High Courts and the Supreme Court
Provisions of Related Laws
There are many offenses and penalty clauses under different laws related to corruption, such as taxation, banking and financial laws; the Myanmar Official Secrets Act 1923; the Defence Services Act 1959; the Fire Services Law 1997; and the Civil Service Law 2013.
- Under the ACL, “corruption” is defined to include the acts of giving, accepting, obtaining, attempting to obtain, offering, promising or discussing a bribe, either directly or indirectly, including on behalf of another person or entity. A “bribe” is defined to include the giving of cash (or other monetary instruments), property of any kind (including rights and benefits derived from property interests), gifts, service fees, entertainment or hospitality and other “unlawful benefits.”
- The ACL also provides that bribing another person and being bribed by another person are both punishable offenses but the definition of bribe-payer and abettor are not provided, although public servant, foreign public servant, political post holder, high ranking official and authorized person are defined.
- The ACL has created an Anti-Corruption Commission to oversee the administration of the law.
- The ACL is applicable to any person committing an offense in the country and citizens or residents of Myanmar overseas. Non-residents outside Myanmar are therefore not included. There is no provision of penalties for companies under the ACL.
Penal Code 1861
- The offense of inducement is the accepting of any gratification as a motive/reward for inducing a public servant to do or forbear to do an official act by corrupt or illegal means (s162) or by personal influence (s163).
- Abetment of either of the above is also an offense.
Penalties – Criminal and/or civil liability
- Fines and terms of imprisonment for bribery offenses vary depending on the severity of the offense and the designation of the party committing the offense. Terms of imprisonment range from seven years to 15 years, and public officials face the harshest penalties and lengthiest prison sentences for engaging in bribery.
- Persons holding a political post – Imprisonment not exceeding 15 years + fines
- Persons with authority (other than persons holding a political post) – Imprisonment not exceeding 10 years + fines
- Others – Imprisonment not exceeding seven years + fines
Penal Code 1861
Section 162: Public servant – Imprisonment of up to three years, a fine, or both
Section 163: Any person – Imprisonment of up to one year, a fine, or both
Section 164: Public servant – Imprisonment up to three years, a fine, or both