This country-specific Q&A provides an overview to bribery and corruption laws and regulations that may occur in Angola.
This Q&A is part of the global guide to Bribery & Corruption. For a full list of jurisdictional Q&As visit http://www.inhouselawyer.co.uk/practice-areas/bribery-and-corruption-second-edition/
What is the legal framework (legislation/regulations) governing bribery and corruption in your jurisdiction?
In Angola, the legal framework of corruption is governed by:
a) The Law number 3/14, from the 10th of February, Law on the criminalization of crimes related to the money laundry;
b) The Law number 6/99, from the 3rd of September, on the economic crimes.
Which authorities have jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute bribery in your jurisdiction?
SIC- Criminal Investigation Service is the authority that has jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute bribery in our jurisdiction.
How is bribery defined?
In Angola, bribery is not typified as a crime. In our jurisdiction, we only have the crime of corruption. Corruption can be active or passive. Passive corruption occurs when a person, directly or through a third party, with its consent, requests or accepts, in its own end or in benefit of a third party, any patrimonial or non-patrimonial advantage or the promise of an advantage, to execute any act or omission against the obligations that arise from the position the official occupy. Active corruption occurs when somebody, directly or through a third party, with its consent, gives or promises to an official or to a third party ,by indication or consent of the official, any patrimonial or non-patrimonial vantage.
Does the law distinguish between bribery of a public official and bribery of private persons? If so, how is ‘public official’ defined? Are there different definitions for bribery of a public official and bribery of a private person?
In Angola, there is no distinction between the corruption of a public official or a private person
What are the civil consequences of bribery in your jurisdiction?
In Angola, the civil consequences of corruption are those that arise from the civil responsibility, i.e., the reparation of the damages (devolution of what has been illegally received without prejudice of the payment of a compensation).
What are the criminal consequences of bribery in your jurisdiction?
Passive corruption – if the acts are against the obligations that arise from the position occupied by the official, then the penalty varies from 1 up to 5 years of prison. If the acts are not against the obligations that arise from the position occupied by the official, then the penalty varies from 6 months up to 3 years.
Active corruption – if somebody, directly or through a third person, gives or promises to an official, a vantage, then the penalty varies from 1 up to 5 years. If the vantage is not due, then the penalty varies from 6 months up to 3 years of prison or the payment of a fine up to 360 days. If the vantage is higher than 100 million kwanzas, the infringer will be punished with 1 up to 5 years of prison but the penalty will be aggravated in 1/4 in its minimum and maximum limits. If the vantage is higher than 10 million kwanzas, then the penalty varies from 1 up to 5 years of prion and the penalty will be aggravated in 1/3 in its minimum and maximum limits.
Does the law place any restrictions on hospitality, travel and entertainment expenses? Are there specific regulations restricting such expenses for foreign public officials?
Are political contributions regulated?
Are facilitation payments regulated? If not, what is the general approach to such payments?
No. Those payments can also constitute corruption acts.
Are there any defences available?
Are compliance programs a mitigating factor to reduce/eliminate liability for bribery offences in your jurisdiction? Please identify any guidance indicating what features a compliance program should have in order to provide an effective defence/mitigation.
Yes. Very common, there are Seminars organized by the Government of Angola and specific entities such as the National Service of Public Tender that informs Ministers and other public officials about the principles of the Law on Administrative Probity.
Who may be held liable for bribery? Only individuals, or also corporate entities?
Individuals and also corporate entities (or equivalent entities) are liable for corruption. If a corporate entity is liable for corruption, the penalties are the following:
a) Court injunction;
b) Prohibition to carry out an activity;
c) Prohibition to execute certain agreements or to execute agreements with certain entities;
d) Closure of the establishment;
e) Publicity of the condemnatory decision.
Has the government published any guidance advising how to comply with anti-corruption and bribery laws in your jurisdiction? If so, what are the elements of an effective corporate compliance program?
There is no specific guidance published by the government. Several public entities organize very often seminars, workshops and awareness campaigns on radio and tv informing the population about the legal consequences of corruption.
Does the law provide protection to whistle-blowers?
Yes. If a whistle-blowers suspects that might be in danger, he/she can request some protections such as police protection and/or shelter to the police authorities.
How common are government authority investigations into allegations of bribery?
In the past, there were no government authority investigations into allegations of bribery/corruption. Those investigations started only in 2017 with the election of a new President of Angola. Since then, almost every day, there are public officials investigated into allegations of corruption.
What are the recent trends in investigations and enforcement in your jurisdiction?
There were no recent trends in investigations and enforcement in our jurisdiction. In fact, and as informed previously, only in 2017 we started having judicial procedures to penalize public officials for corruptions acts.
Is there a process of judicial review for challenging government authority action and decisions?
Are there any planned developments or reforms of bribery and anti-corruption laws in your jurisdiction?
There is a new Criminal Code recently approved but we are still waiting for the publication of the Code. Also, we are aware that a new Criminal Procedure Code is under execution. Both the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code are out of date because they have been approved in 1886 and 1929, respectively.
To which international anti-corruption conventions is your country party?
United Nations Convention; African Union Convention, SADC Protocol and others.
Do you have a concept of legal privilege in your jurisdiction which applies to lawyer-led investigations? If so, please provide details on the extent of that protection.
How much importance does your government place on tackling bribery and corruption? How do you think your jurisdiction’s approach to anti-bribery and corruption compares on an international scale?
Nowadays, our Government gives a high importance to the actions against corruption once for several years, we have lived an impunity regime. Angola is changing and one of the main goals of the President of Angola elected in 2017 is to fight against corruption.
Generally how serious are organisations in your country about preventing bribery and corruption?
Unfortunately, our organisations are not familiar with certain types of crimes due to the fact that we do not have specific means to deal with such crimes. Apart from that, we do not have specialized staff to investigate crimes and to present evidences that can lead to the effective responsibility of the infringer. However, Angola is creating conditions to train experts on corruption matters.
What are the biggest challenges enforcement agencies/regulators face when investigating and prosecuting cases of bribery and corruption in your jurisdiction?
The biggest challenges are investigation process itself. Unfortunately, our institutions are not in position to start an investigation of a corruption case and lead that process until a situation where the infringer is punished.
What do you consider will be the most significant corruption-related challenges posed to businesses in your jurisdiction over the next 18 months?
Our main challenges is the education of the entire population. Unfortunately, in Angola, the majority of the population deals with corruption as a normal and common situation.
How would you improve the legal framework and process for preventing, investigating and prosecuting cases of bribery and corruption?
We do have legal framework and I do believe that there is no need to approve new regulations. We just need to implement the law.