Facilitation Payments Conference at Deutsche Bank Twin Towers on 2 July 2015

The Anti-Corruption Forum in cooperation with the ILF, Debevoise Plimpton and Deutsche Bank hosted a joint conference on Facilitation Payments on 2 July 2015 at the Deutsche Bank Twin Towers Frankfurt. The aim of the conference was to resolve legal ambiguities concerning the global phenomenon Facilitation Payments and to encourage the dialogue between lawyers, governments, NGOs, academics and the economy.

The speakers of the four panels consisted of leading qualified and international politics, academics, lawyers and economics. The opening remarks were given by Stephan Leitner, Deutsche Bank. He was followed by the first panel on the legal situation of Facilitation Payments chaired by Elisa Hoven. The panelist Christophe Speckbacher, The Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption, Jeffrey H. Knox, Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett, Robert Amaee, Covington & Burling, Dr. Oliver Landwehr, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and Drago Kos, OECD Working Group on Bribery, tried to clarify legal ambiguities and explore Facilitation Payments within different legal jurisdictions and international conventions.

The second panel entitled “Tracking Facilitation Payment in Corporations” consisted of Dr. Sofia Halfmann, DHL Global Forwarding, Freight, Dr. Klaus Moosmayer, Siemens AG, Dr. Thomas Altenbach, Deutsche Bank, and Dr. Thomas Schürrle, Debevoise Plimpton, and was chaired by Drago Kos. In this session the experts explored possible solutions on which companies could rely on to address risky local practices to accelerate administrative process without engaging in illegal practices.

The third panel discussion focused on “Posecution”. The panelists Akere Muna, African Development Bank, Howard Dean, World Bank Group, Dr. Smokin Wanjala, Supreme Court Kenya and Jeffrey Knox” and the chair Dr. Melanie Poepping, Deutsche Bank, talked about the commitments taken by states to prosecute Facilitation Payments in this session.

The subsequent fourth panel discussion on the topic “Facilitation Payments – a crime” consisted of Professor Philip Nichols, Wharton Business School, Akere Muna, Professor Michael Kubiciel, University of Cologne and Robert Amaree and was moderated by the initiator of the conference and founder of the Anti-Corruption Forum Yas Froemel. In this session, the panelists discussed the question whether Facilitation Payments should be criminalized or whether alternative measures could be applicable. The results of the conference were summed up in the last session on future prospects.