Due diligence: making sure you meet your legal obligations (in terms of combatting corruption) and protect your international development projects

With the adoption of the Sapin 2 law relating to transparency, combatting corruption and the modernisation of economic life, due diligence is turning into a major challenge for French companies. Our staff will provide their support to ensure you meet your legal obligations.

An obligation to combat corruption and influence-peddling

The Sapin 2 law, which came into effect in December 2016, requires companies to implement internal measures in order to prevent and detect risks of corruption or influence-peddling. These obligations apply both to French companies and foreign companies trading in France.

The Sapin 2 law requires companies to implement :

  • a code of conduct,
  • a whistle-blowing mechanism covering ethical issues,
  • risk-mapping,
  • procedures for assessing their business partners,
  • account monitoring procedures,
  • training and awareness-raising programmes for staff,
  • disciplinary sanctions,
  • checks and evaluations concerning the implementation of their policy.

Three stages to protect the company

Detecting, investigating and documenting wrongdoing is a three-stage process to provide long-term protection for your company against the repercussions of an accusation of corruption. Whether it results in the company having to pay potentially substantial fines, its directors incurring criminal liability or simply damage to its reputation, the impacts of such charges may be severe.

Your company must be able to prove that it has acted on any alerts raised, including by way of conducting an investigation to identify fraudulent schemes; roles and responsibilities; and the impacts on your organisation.

Downstream from the prevention phase, the company must equip itself with an internal or external “safe channel”-type mechanism. This involves making sure that reports are passed up the line, so that any allegations of corruption or “inappropriate” behaviour can be dealt with.

Helping your company to implement the measures imposed by the Sapin 2 law

CORPGUARD staff will provide their support with the implementation of these obligations, using an iterative method.

1. Risk diagnostics

Evaluating your environment and the threats it poses in order to limit your risk exposure. Identifying the parties involved and mapping the stakeholders around you.

2. Removing doubts

Checking out any declaratory instruments required by law, checking the identity of shareholders and owners of financial participations, and the reputation and integrity of company directors and partners, with a view to limiting the risks of corruption, money-laundering or terrorist financing. This report will document your compliance process

3.Setting up a “safe channel” mechanism

A “safe channel” enables any incident reports submitted to be dealt with. This solution guarantees protection for whistle-blowers.

4.Investigations when an alert is raised

Each report received via the “safe channel” is assessed and documented, to gather the information submitted (email, phone call, interview, etc.). Further investigations are conducted if necessary.

This stage will enable you to react promptly when faced with cases or allegations of corruption, embezzlement of assets, financial fraud, money-laundering, breaches of specific legislation, cyber attacks or other types of inappropriate behaviour, such as sexual harassment.

5.Forensics – Digital investigations

Our staff can conduct investigations into your digital media, for the purpose of adducing evidence. Corpguard will extract and analyse the data gathered, using a procedure that will ensure that this data is not compromised. This work is undertaken in accordance with the requisite legal procedures.

Development at international level or prior to a merger

The requirements of the Sapin 2 law in terms of transparency and combatting corruption also apply to any plans to set up businesses abroad, to mergers and company takeovers. To safeguard your investments, due diligence will also enable you to undertake comprehensive mapping of a company and to check out its good governance.