The leniency program is a program under which a company that has engaged in corrupt or fraudulent practices such as bribery (hereafter referred to as "fraudulent practices") voluntarily reports its fraudulent practices and requests for leniency. If certain conditions are satisfied, such as the timing of the report, JICA may exempt or reduce penalties imposed pursuant to the JICA Rules on Measures (hereafter referred to as "Measures"). The program aims to encourage voluntary declarations of fraudulent practices by using the exemption or reduction of penalties as an incentive, and to make it easier for JICA to identify the occurrence of fraudulent practices and to prevent their recurrence.
The exemption or reduction of Measures applies to fraudulent practices that meet the requirements set forth in the table in the Exhibit to the JICA Rules on Measures. However, exemptions from these Measures pertain, in principle, only to those violations of laws and regulations (bribery, antitrust law violations, bid rigging, fraudulent claims, etc.) that occurred in JICA projects. There are no restrictions concerning the timing and frequency of fraudulent practices. Further, companies that have been subject to Measures in the past are also eligible for the leniency program.
(Method of Voluntary Declaration)
A person who has the authority to represent a company (e.g., CEO), or his/her designee, must send by e-mail a "fraudulent practices report" form (see Exhibit) in PDF to the e-mail address of the JICA Consultation Desk on Anti-Corruption (firstname.lastname@example.org). The subject line should state "Report of fraudulent practices for leniency program." The report must include all details of fraudulent practices that have been discovered by internal investigations.
(Conditions for Exemption or Reduction of Measures)
If a company wishes to obtain an exemption or reduction of Measures, the following conditions must be satisfied in addition to submitting the report in accordance with the prescribed method:
- The applicant must not have received any inquiry from JICA or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs concerning the fraudulent practice prior to the submission of the report, been sanctioned by the Fair Trade Commission or other governmental agencies, or been arrested or prosecuted.
- The applicant must not have engaged in any fraudulent practices after the submission of the report, and must submit a document to declare that the applicant is not aware of any fraudulent practices other than the reported cases and that the applicant will not engage in any fraudulent practices in the future.
- The applicant must withdraw from the bidding process for the project in which the fraudulent practice occurred (if the contract has not yet been signed).
- Within three weeks from the submission of the report, the applicant must develop appropriate measures to prevent the recurrence of fraudulent practices and submit a written declaration stating that it will report on the status of implementation of such measures after the exemption or reduction of the Measures.
(Requirements after Exemption or Reduction of Measures)
After receiving an exemption or reduction of Measures, the company must report to JICA the status of implementation of the company's measures to prevent the recurrence of fraudulent practices at least once a year, for a period of three years. If the company fails to report without justifiable reasons, the exemption or reduction of Measures will be cancelled.
- In principle, the leniency is applicable to fraudulent practices that are verified by the applicant. It will not be applied if all self-reported fraudulent practices are only "suspected" as such by the applicant.
- If multiple companies are involved in the same fraudulent practices and each of these companies separately submits a report, the first company to do so will be considered for an exemption from Measures, and the other companies will be considered for reductions of Measures. The order of precedence of these companies will be determined based on the time at which JICA received the e-mails submitting the reports, whose contents JICA deemed sufficient.
- Where multiple companies were involved in the same fraudulent practices, JICA also accepts joint report submissions. In such cases, the companies will be regarded as having reported at the same time.
- JICA will not disclose the submitted report(s) to third parties (except the Ministry of Foreign Affairs). However, applicable partner government or relevant organizations may be provided with part of the reported information so that JICA can investigate the possibility of a third party's involvement in the fraudulent practices or for other necessary purposes. Furthermore, JICA may disclose the fact that a certain company applied for the leniency program or received an exemption from or reduction of penalties, limiting the disclosed information to name of the company and the outline of its fraudulent practices. When imposing Measures, JICA generally announces the name of the company and the outline of its fraudulent practices, regardless of any penalty reduction under the leniency program.
- Receiving leniency under this program will not exempt a company from investigations or prosecution by judicial or law enforcement authorities. The applicant is encouraged to self-report any unlawful acts to relevant authorities; otherwise, JICA may have to do so upon notifying the applicant.
- In implementing the leniency program, JICA exchanges information with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and coordinates actions with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- With regard to voluntary declarations, the applicant is required to report on all fraudulent practices in JICA projects that the applicant is aware of. The applicant is also required to affirm that it is not aware of any fraudulent practices other than those reported, and that it will not engage in any fraudulent practices in the future. For this reason, if, within a certain period after receiving an exemption or reduction of Measures, fraudulent practices that were not reported are discovered, or the applicant engages in new fraudulent practices, in principle, the applicant will cease to be eligible for the leniency. Moreover, in consideration of the fact that the applicant engaged in fraudulent practices repeatedly, there is a possibility that heavier penalties will be imposed, unless the discovery of the new fraudulent practices resulted from a whistleblower's report, etc.