More than four years after the federal government introduced an offshore tax evasion tip line to fight offshore tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance, Quebec’s tax authority is following suit by launching a whistleblower program that will offer monetary rewards.
A former Crown prosecutor who filed a reprisal complaint against the Public Prosecution Service of Canada before the federal Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner partially won his case before the Federal Court of Canada.
In a ruling that brings clarity to the role of the whistleblowing commissioner, the Federal Court held that the Integrity Commissioner does not have the charge to decide people’s credibility nor should he address thorny legal questions. Instead the commissioner’s role lies with determining on an objective basis whether reprisal complaints should be forwarded to the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Tribunal, added the decision in Agnaou c. Procureur générale du Canada 2017 CF 338.
When General Electric Company agreed last August to pay US$23.4 million to settle charges laid by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for its involvement in a US$3.6 million kickback scheme with Iraqi government agencies to win contracts to supply medical and water purification equipment, it was the latest of an impressive long list of multinationals that paid the price of Washington’s newfound resolve to crack down on corporate bribery.
The Americans now mean business. Largely dormant since becoming law in 1977, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the SEC have over the past two years vigorously enforced the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), going so far as to launch sting operations while levying penalties unimaginable a couple of years ago.