New Technical Cooperation Agreement provides for leniency agreements

On the last August 6th, the Comptroller-General´s Office  (CGU), the Federal Solicitor-General’s Office (AGU), the Federal Supreme Court (STF) and the Federal Audit Court (TCU) signed a Technical Cooperation Agreement, in matters of fight against corruption in Brazil, especially with regard to leniency agreements resulting from Law nº 12,846, of 2013.

The agreement was also signed by the president of the Supreme Federal Court, Justice Dias Toffoli, and aims at expanding the sharing of information between the entities, determining that the leniency agreement negotiations shall be conducted exclusively by CGU and AGU.

It should be noted that, in the system established by Law 12.846/2013, companies had to negotiate separately with the different agencies, which generated legal uncertainty and delayed the resolution of the conflict. In this sense, the agreement is intended to create cohesion between the authorities, and not only to add or remove competences from any of the institutions involved, allowing companies accused of committing illegal acts to concentrate the negotiations in a single act.

On the other hand, the absence of the Federal District Attorney´s Office (MPF) in the signature of the proposal indicates that the prosecutors will not be subject to the guidelines defined by the Agreement, which may raise possible issues about the possibility of the MPF entering legal proceedings to discuss the same theme, even after the leniency agreement is executed.

In this sense, the anti-corruption section of the MPF has already stated that such cooperation should undermine the performance of each signatory agencies, even questioning the constitutionality of the norm for supposedly reducing the scope of its powers in combating corruption.

The Attorney-General, Augusto Aras, requested Justice Dias Toffoli for more time to analyze the draught proposal and suggest changes. Despite being among the signatories, Aras has not yet signed the agreement. Quested about the case, the STF’s advisory office informed that the Attorney-General may sign the agreement later, if he decides to subscribe it, without the possibility, however, of making amendments to the text.

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