25 April 23 | Lisboa

System of sanctions under the National Anti-Corruption Mechanism (MENAC)

The Decree-Law 109-E/2021, published on 9th December 2021, created the National Anti-Corruption Mechanism (MENAC) and approved the General Scheme for the Prevention of Corruption (RGPC) (available in our news "TOL NEWS 12"), establishing different dates on which the standards would take effect.

The contemplated system of sanctions will enter into force on 7th June 2023, except for the measures concerning medium-sized enterprises operating in the private sector (enterprises between 50 and 249 employees) which will only take effect on 7th June 2024.

Consequently, it is punishable by a fine of up to €45,000:

  • Not adopting or incorrectly implementing the plan to prevent and detect acts of corruption and related offences (PPR).
  • Not adopting a code of conduct or adopting one that does not consider nor the criminal legislation on corruption and related offences neither the entity's risks of exposure to these crimes.
  • Not implementing an internal control system.

Regarding legal persons governed by private law, there is also the possibility of publicising the conviction, as an accessory sanction, for any of the above-mentioned administrative offences, depending on the seriousness of the fact and respective culpability. The publication of the conviction is made in a national, regional or local newspaper (depending on which is more appropriate) and on the MENAC's official website for a period of 90 days.

Additionally, it is punishable with a fine of up to €25,000:

  • The failure to review and publicise the PPR.
  • The failure to elaborate the PPR’s control reports and disclose them to employees.
  • The failure to revise the code of conduct and disclose it to employees.

Once sufficient evidence of the administrative offence occurrence has been gathered, a notice of offence is made and the defendant may present a written defence and offer proof within 15 working days. 

The violation of duties in the scope of the implementation of the PPR, code of conduct, whistleblowing channels and internal control system, as well as in the scope of impartiality, by the public entities covered by the RGPC, represent offences of a disciplinary nature, punishable in accordance with the Labour Code.

The law also establishes that individuals holding management positions (or similar) in independent administrative entities with functions of economic activity regulation in the private, public and cooperative sectors and the Bank of Portugal, as well as employees of any entities covered, shall be liable to disciplinary action when failing to report violations or otherwise provide false or erroneous information of which they are aware in the course or because of their duties.



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