New Anti-Corruption Law Per 1 January 2013

On 1 January 2013, a new anti-corruption law will enter into force in Austria. The amendment's key points are as follows:

  1. Long-arm jurisdiction for offences committed abroad

    According to the new regulations, an Austrian citizen or company can be prosecuted if the offence was committed abroad. This is independent of whether the behaviour constitutes a crime in the respective country. The Public Prosecutor can therefore indict, for example, the Austrian manager of a Romanian company for bribery, irrespective of Romanian anti-bribery regulations.

  2. Higher punishment for bribery of public officials

    The punishment will also be raised considerably: from 1 January 2013 onwards, the punishment for active and passive bribing organs and employees of companies close to the state will amount to ten years imprisonment instead of three.

  3. Expanded definition of a public official

    As of 1 January 2013, delegates of the National and Federal Council, members of the local council and employees of companies close to the state will no longer be excluded from the definition of who constitutes a public official. Anyone who works for a company owned indirectly or immediately by the state, province or municipality or a foreign body politic with at least 50% or more of its capital, is such an official. Such companies include, amongst others, ASFINAG, Flughafen Wien AG or Wiener Linien.

  4. Small benefits for public officials allowed

    The granting of an "improper benefit" to a public official for the dutiful performance of their office responsibilities is an offence if it aims at influencing the official's activity. If you want to grant a public official a benefit in the context of a professional relationship, this benefit must not exceed a value of EUR 100. This sum is thus considered a minor value in Austria. Gifts on private occasions or anniversary presents may always be accepted by officials. Small items such as promotional giveaways are customary. Flowers, the buffet after a presentation, sweets or coffee as an...

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