Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Government goes further than Cole Report.

Download PDFDownload PDF



Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600  Telephone (02) 6277 7300  Fax (02) 6273 4102

3 May 2007 078/2007


The Government will strengthen foreign bribery laws to help enforce United Nations sanctions as part of its response to recommendations of the Cole Commission, Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said today.

The Government has accepted the Cole Report’s recommendations and in response will introduce legislation:

• requiring applicants for licences to import or export under United Nations sanctions to provide information to the Government; criminal penalties will apply for giving false or misleading information;

• creating a new offence for breaching UN sanctions;

• giving Government agencies the power to obtain evidence about suspected evasion of sanctions so they can be referred to law enforcement agencies;

• strengthening laws aimed at bribery of foreign officials; and

• making tax laws consistent with foreign bribery laws.

The penalty for a breach will be up to three times the value of the offending transaction and up to 10 years’ jail for individuals.

“Australia led the world in conducting the public, transparent and independent Cole Inquiry. These changes continue Australia’s tough stance,” Mr Ruddock said.

“Three of Commissioner Cole’s recommendations have been accepted by the Government and public inquiries have already begun into the two others. The Government’s response has exceeded Commissioner Cole’s recommendations. The Australian Government again thanks Commissioner Cole, as well as those who assisted him, for their excellent work.”

A Taskforce led by senior former Australian Federal Police officer Peter Donaldson is working on possible prosecutions arising from the Cole Inquiry.

The Australian Government response tabled in Parliament is attached.


Media Contact: Steve Ingram 0419 278 715