Global Anticorruption Blog - Guest Post: Why Debarment Is Different–A Reply to Professor Stephenson
Richard Bistrong, a writer, speaker, and blogger on anti-bribery compliance issues, contributes the following guest post:
As the recent OECD Foreign Bribery Report made clear, debarment (prohibiting the defendant company or individual to engage in future government contracting) is very rarely used as a sanction in foreign bribery cases, most likely because prosecutors worry that debarment would be an excessive penalty that would often do too much collateral damage to innocent parties. I have argued that debarment can and should be used more frequently, and that the legitimate concerns about disproportionate punishment can be addressed by using various forms of “partial debarment.” In a recent post, Professor Stephenson draws attention to a number of potential shortcomings to my proposal. While I agree with some of his points, I think he understates the ways in which debarment—as distinct from fines or other monetary penalties—can have a distinctive deterrent effect on foreign bribery, and why partial debarment might therefore often be appropriate.
Let me try to clarify where Professor Stephenson and I disagree, where we may disagree, and why partial debarment is a sanction that government enforcers ought to employ more often. Read more of this post