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Ghana has rewritten some of the agreements it uses with oil and gas companies, requiring them to certify compliance with U.S., UK, and other anti-bribery laws, including  the OECD anti-bribery convention.

The Africa Center for Energy Policy (ACEP) praised Ghana for its “bold” initiative in fine-tuning its petroleum agreements.

The new agreements have been submitted to Ghana’s parliament for approval, GhanaWeb reported Saturday.

“We are encouraged that petroleum agreements for the first time in Ghana’s history contain provisions that shun corruption especially through bribery or any inducement of public officials, politicians and political parties,” said Mohammed Amin Adam, ACEP’s Executive Director.

The new language in Ghana’s petroleum agreements says:

“Each contractor party warrants that neither it nor any of its Affiliates or any of their officers, directors or employers has made, offered, or authorized and will not make, offer, or authorize with respect to the matters which are the subject of this Agreement, any payment, gift, promise or other advantage, whether directly or through any other person or entity, to or for the use or benefit of any public official (i.e. any person holding a legislative, administrative or judicial office, including any person employed by or acting on behalf of a public agency, a public enterprise or a public international organization) or any political party or political party official or candidate for office, where such payment, gift, promise or advantage would violate to the extent applicable to such Party,

“(i) the applicable laws of Ghana;

“(ii) the laws of the country of incorporation of such Party or such Party’s ultimate parent company;

“(iii) the principles described in the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions, signed in Paris on December 17, 1977, which entered into force on February 15, 1999, and the Convention’s Commentaries; (iv) the United States of America Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 1977; and (v) the United Kingdom Bribery Act 2010.’

The ACEP noted that this new clause is included provided in four out of the six new petroleum agreements.

The ACEP has been campaigning for anti-corruption clauses to be put in all of the agreements.

In late June, during an event sponsored by the Ghana government about fighting abuses in the oil and gas industry, the U.S. anti-corruption law — the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) — was referred to as model legislation.

One speaker referred to the FCPA’s premise that corporate bribery is bad business and fundamentally destructive of the basic tenet that the sale of products should take place on the basis of price, quality and service.

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From the FCPA Blog New Service (c) 2014 All Rights Reserved