How does the law of Criminal Liability Regime for Legal Entities affects the CSO?

Last tuesday June 19th, a talk organized by RACI and Fundación Poder Ciudadano was held on the new Law N°27.401 – Criminal Liability Regime for Legal Entities.

The talk was dictated by Hugo Wortman Jofré, lawyer and president of Fundación Poder Ciudadano, to which almost 30 organizations internalized about the implications of the law, and how this would affect the Civil Society Organizations of the country.

Jofré introduced the law Criminal Liability Regime for Private Legal Entities, as a way of the State to transfer responsibilities of Criminal Law to the rest of the society. The international organizations tend to require that countries that introduce this kind of regulations and the validity of this law is a requirement of the OECD to admit Argentina a member.

Why do CSO fall under this law? Because the Civil Code contemplates- through Art. 148- the foundations as Private Legal Entities.

The objective of the law is to combate structural corruption, emphasizing the improvement of transparency and the ethical transformation of the organizations. The law seeks to eradicate the following crimes:

  • Bribery and influence peddling,
  • Negotiations incompatible with the exercise of public functions,
  • Concussion,
  • Illicit enrichment of officials and employees,
  • Balance of aggravated false reports.

To be exempt from punishment, the organizations must comply with 3 (three) fundamental requirements:

  1. Spontaneous denunciation of the anticipated crimes (the legal entity timely denounce the crimes).
  2. Implementation of an adequate control system (Integrity Programme)
  3. Return of the benefit obtained.

The Integrity Programme is a set of actions, mechanism and internal control procedures, that the institution must adopt to prevent and detect unlawful acts. This programme must include: a code of autonomous behavior, rules of prevention on the link with the public sector, and periodic internal training.

To receive public funds, it is a necessary condition to have an Integrity Programme.

The preparation of a Behavior Code for the NGO in Argentina was one of the suggestions with which Hugo Wortman Jofré ended his exhibition.