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Law against Corruption

Decree No. 1,410 of November 13, 2014 was published in Official Gazette Extraordinary No. 6,155 of November 19, 2014. Through said Decree, the President of the Republic issued the Decree with the Status, Value and Force of Law against Corruption (the “Decree-Law”). Below are the most significant changes included in the Decree-Law:

 

  1. Public and private natural and legal persons, public servants, communes, communal councils, socio-productive associations, and the grassroots organizations of the popular power, as well as any form of popular organization, are subject to the Decree-Law when they handle public funds.

  2. The citizens and the grassroots organizations of the popular power, when they become aware of the commission of acts penalized by the Decree-Law in which public resources are involved, must denounce them before the competent authorities.

  3. The Decree-Law establishes the crime of corruption among private parties prescribed in the Organic Law of Fair Prices, when it states that any person who by himself/herself or through a straw party promises, offers, or grants the directors, administrators, employees or cooperators of companies, partnerships, associations, foundations or organizations a benefit or advantage of any nature whatsoever, in order for such person who makes the promise, offer or granting, or a third party to be favored prevailing over others, through such directors’, administrators’, employees’ or cooperators’ failure to comply with their obligations in the acquisition or sale of merchandise or in the provision of services, will be penalized with imprisonment ranging from 2 to 6 years. The same penalty will be applied to the director, administrator, employee, or cooperator who by himself/herself or through a straw party receives, requests, or accepts said benefit or advantage. Also, the entity with competence over the defense of socioeconomic rights may impose the penalty of suspension from the Single Registry in the terms established in the law that regulates fair prices of goods and services.

  4. The Decree-Law establishes the crime of transnational bribery when it states that any person who by himself/herself or through a straw party promises, offers, or grants a public servant of another State, directly or indirectly, on behalf of nationals of such person’s State, persons who have a customary residence in the territory of such person’s State, and companies domiciled in the same, any object with a pecuniary value or other benefits, such as gifts, favors, promises, advantages, in exchange for an act or omission on the part of such public servant in the exercise of his/her public functions, in relation to an economic, commercial, or any other type of transaction, will be penalized with imprisonment from 6 to 12 years.

  5. Judicial actions intended to penalize crimes against public property will not be subject to the statute of limitations.

  6. The State will create a national entity for prevention, analysis, intelligence, and investigation of corruption, hierarchically submitted to the President of the Republic, in order to prevent, precisely define, fight, and neutralize the crimes derived from and connected with the phenomenon of corruption and other crimes to the detriment of the national treasury, associated with organized crime, at all levels of authority of the National Government, the popular power, and the private sector.

 

The Decree-Law became effective on November 19, 2014.

 

In order to access the Decree-Law, please click here.

 

 

“NOTE: THIS INFORMATION SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE ON ANY SPECIFIC MATTER AND ITS CONTENT ARE INTENDED AS A MANAGEMENT ALERT AS TO CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS IN VENEZUELA, ANY SPECIFIC LEGAL QUESTIONS REGARDING THE POSSIBLE APPLICATION OF NEW OR PROPOSED LEGISLATION TO PARTICULAR SITUATIONS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO TRAVIESO EVANS ARRIA RENGEL & PAZ.