Travel restrictions aimed at stemming the spread of the novel coronavirus could complicate companies’ efforts to prevent bribery and other corporate misconduct, lawyers say.
As the epidemic spreads, compliance officers and the lawyers tasked with conducting internal investigations and bribery risk assessments have had to postpone meetings and interviews with witnesses. In most cases, on-site visits or interviews can be delayed without great consequence. But for investigations into potentially ongoing misconduct, the delays could allow compliance breaches to fester.
“The identification of potential misconduct won’t happen,” said Nathaniel Edmonds, a partner at Paul Hastings LLP. “It will delay the review—meaning the misconduct, corruption or fraud could get bigger.”
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