section 121(1)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

This section outlines the offences related to bribery and corruption in dealings with the government.

SECTION WORDING

121(1) Every one commits an offence who (a) directly or indirectly (i) gives, offers or agrees to give or offer to an official or to any member of his family, or to any one for the benefit of an official, or (ii) being an official, demands, accepts or offers or agrees to accept from any person for himself or another person, a loan, reward, advantage or benefit of any kind as consideration for cooperation, assistance, exercise of influence or an act or omission in connection with (iii) the transaction of business with or any matter of business relating to the government, or (iv) a claim against Her Majesty or any benefit that Her Majesty is authorized or is entitled to bestow, whether or not, in fact, the official is able to cooperate, render assistance, exercise influence or do or omit to do what is proposed, as the case may be; (b) having dealings of any kind with the government, directly or indirectly pays a commission or reward to or confers an advantage or benefit of any kind on an employee or official of the government with which the dealings take place, or to any member of the employees or officials family, or to anyone for the benefit of the employee or official, with respect to those dealings, unless the person has the consent in writing of the head of the branch of government with which the dealings take place; (c) being an official or employee of the government, directly or indirectly demands, accepts or offers or agrees to accept from a person who has dealings with the government a commission, reward, advantage or benefit of any kind for themselves or another person, unless they have the consent in writing of the head of the branch of government that employs them or of which they are an official; (d) having or pretending to have influence with the government or with a minister of the government or an official, directly or indirectly demands, accepts or offers or agrees to accept, for themselves or another person, a reward, advantage or benefit of any kind as consideration for cooperation, assistance, exercise of influence or an act or omission in connection with (i) anything mentioned in subparagraph (a)(iii) or (iv), or (ii) the appointment of any person, including themselves, to an office; (e) directly or indirectly gives or offers, or agrees to give or offer, to a minister of the government or an official, or to anyone for the benefit of a minister or an official, a reward, advantage or benefit of any kind as consideration for cooperation, assistance, exercise of influence, or an act or omission, by that minister or official, in connection with (i) anything mentioned in subparagraph (a)(iii) or (iv), or (ii) the appointment of any person, including themselves, to an office; or (f) having made a tender to obtain a contract with the government, (i) directly or indirectly gives or offers, or agrees to give or offer, to another person who has made a tender, to a member of that persons family or to another person for the benefit of that person, a reward, advantage or benefit of any kind as consideration for the withdrawal of the tender of that person, or(ii) directly or indirectly demands, accepts or offers or agrees to accept from another person who has made a tender a reward, advantage or benefit of any kind for themselves or another person as consideration for the withdrawal of their own tender.

EXPLANATION

Section 121(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada identifies a number of different types of behaviour that are considered to be criminal offences in relation to government officials and employees. The section covers actions such as offering or accepting bribes or other forms of assistance or influence in relation to conducting business with the government or making claims against it. It also covers behaviour related to paying commissions or conferring benefits on government employees or officials, or accepting them in return for assistance or influence in government matters. The section requires that any such behaviour be carried out with the prior written consent of the relevant government department or official. The overall purpose of Section 121(1) is to prevent people from engaging in corrupt practices that could compromise the integrity of government institutions or undermine public trust in them. By criminalizing bribery and corrupt behaviour in relation to government officials and employees, the section helps to ensure that government processes and decisions are made solely on the basis of merit and in the public interest. The penalties for offences under Section 121(1) can be severe, including imprisonment, fines, and forfeiture of assets. This reflects the seriousness of the harm that such behaviour can cause to public trust and confidence in government.

COMMENTARY

Section 121(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada deals with corruption within government transactions and dealings. The section outlines various offenses, starting from offering or accepting bribes to government officials, to giving or receiving rewards for influencing government decisions. The section rightly criminalizes individuals or groups seeking to influence government decisions through bribery, whether directly or indirectly. These include giving or accepting loans, rewards, advantages or benefits in return for acts or omissions that promote the interests of the individuals or organizations. The offering and acceptance of bribes undermines the integrity of government officials and threatens the legitimacy of government institutions as a whole. Another offense stated in the section deals with paying commissions or rewards to government employees or officials for a transaction with the government. This offense seeks to eliminate the influence of people or organizations that seek to subvert the transparency and fairness of government transactions. To prevent this, individuals or organizations undertaking such dealings require the consent of the appropriate authorities to offer commissions or rewards to government employees or officials. Similarly, the section also criminalizes officials or employees who demand or accept commissions, rewards, advantages or benefits in return for promoting the interests of a person or organization in a transaction with the government. This provision seeks to remove the incentive for government officials to exploit their positions and use their influence to gain personal benefits from those seeking government transactions. The section also addresses those who hold themselves out as having influence with government officials and offer their influence or promise favors for personal gain. By offering or accepting rewards, benefits or advantages for their influence, such conduct is criminalized as it undermines the public trust and confidence in government institutions. Furthermore, the section deals with individuals or organizations tendering for government contracts and seeking to gain an unfair advantage by offering or accepting rewards, benefits or advantages. This provision criminalizes any attempt to subvert the competitive process of tenders and ensures that the most qualified and capable candidates are awarded government contracts. In summary, section 121(1) of the Criminal Code seeks to criminalize bribery, corruption, and other forms of dishonesty in government transactions and dealings. The provision aims to maintain the integrity and legitimacy of government institutions and ensure transparency and fairness in government dealings. This section plays a key role in preventing individuals or organizations seeking to exploit their positions for personal gain, which could undermine public confidence in the government and have serious consequences for the country's democratic foundations.

STRATEGY

Section 121(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada sets out various types of prohibitions related to corruption and bribery. It implicates individuals or officials who give or receive bribes, commissions or rewards, or any benefits in exchange for influencing the government, transacting business with the government, or affecting any matter of business relating to the government. The penalties for violating this section of the Criminal Code of Canada are severe. The accused may receive a maximum sentence of 14 years in jail, and the Canadian government has demonstrated its willingness to enforce anti-corruption laws. Therefore, when dealing with section 121(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada, all parties need to exercise extreme caution. The following are some strategic considerations to keep in mind when dealing with this section of the Criminal Code of Canada: 1. Knowledge of the Law: There must be a comprehensive understanding of the provisions of this section of the Criminal Code to know what activities contravene the law and their potential consequences. 2. Vigilant Record Keeping: Parties should be careful when preserving records of transactions, whether in writing or via email. This record keeping helps demonstrate to authorities that the transaction was legitimate and didn't contravene the Criminal Code. 3. Solid Compliance Controls for Corporate requirements: Corporate entities need to establish internal controls that detect and prevent any activity contrary to the law. 4. Perform Proper Due Diligence: All parties engaging in business with the government should perform thorough due diligence on brokers and intermediaries to ensure that their actions are within the law. 5. Formal Control Measures: Government officials should establish proper and sophisticated systems for screening and approving deal brokers/ intermediaries who engage in business with the government. 6. Training and Education: Organizations or businesses engaging in business with the government should educate all personnel about the requirements of the Criminal Code of Canada, as well as the necessity of compliance. 7. Collaboration: Corporate entities and government officials can work together to establish measures that prevent corruption-related activities with more significant emphasis on actions that help identify such activities, request investigation by the authorities and take corrective measures that improve the compliance process. 8. Reporting: If any instances of suspicious activity suggesting bribery or corruption are experienced or discovered, it is wise to report them to the appropriate authorities in a timely manner. In conclusion, section 121(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a crucial anti-corruption legislation that every person or entity engaging in business with the government should thoroughly understand and comply with. To prevent breach of the section, it is important to adopt a strategic approach that includes proper training and education, vigilant record keeping, collaborative efforts, due diligence, and compliance controls. These strategies will not only diminish the risks of committing a crime but also enhance trust, transparency and credibility.