Bill to bring better view of bribes
A Bill will be tabled this week that seeks to hold Australian companies accountable for bribes paid overseas.
The Bill aims to deter corruption by requiring payments to be made public.
The Corporations Amendment (Publish What You Pay) Bill 2014 would establish mandatory reporting requirements of payments made by Australian based extractive companies to foreign governments.
The bill requires that companies must disclose these payments on a country-by-country and project-by-project basis.
It would apply to all Australian both Australian public and proprietary companies involved in extractive industries, including oil, gas, mining and native forest logging.
If the legislation gets up, these companies and their subsidiaries would be required to submit a financial report detailing all payments made to government entities overseas over $100,000.
The threshold is in line with the standards set by the US, EU and UK in similar legislation and directives.
The Bill says the reports must be in an open and machine-readable format, and would be published by ASIC, to ensure public accessibility and accountability.
Misleading reporting would be dealt with under rules the currently cover other financial statements.