The UK views a rules-based system as vital for ensuring a transparent, predictable, competitive and efficient global economy that sets the conditions for growth supporting our broader Prosperity objectives. As a result the FCO will be leading projects to improve the engagement and implementation of priority rule areas in various regions. The RuBIES Regional Strategy for Latin America covers the Pacific Alliance countries plus Costa Rica and Panama, and is seeking project proposals that focus specifically on the above topic.
Even when economic situations differ from country to country, the Pacific alliance plus Costa Rica and Panama share a similar need for advancing their economic policy, as they evolve into a more integrated economy. Competition is an important driver of economic growth. Effective competition rules will support economic integration and ensure a level playing field for business. Enforcement of these rules is equally important, both domestically and across borders. Fostering regular cooperation will support the enforcement of competition rules and their economic integration process.
The OECD places high priority on eliminating cartels and improving merger analysis, especially in accession and member countries, to reduce anti-competitive or anti-consumer practices. This helps build prosperity and reduce disparities in the distribution of wealth. The stage of economic developments of many Latin America countries is at a point where it can leap from a developing/emerging stage to a developed one, hence the need to learning from countries that have had similar issues and concerns. The UK can offer advice on building effective competition regimes.
Effective competition enforcement requires focussing scarce resources on cases where they can have the greatest impact. Prioritisation rules, a deterring fining policy, and optimal use of investigative powers are all key aspects of a modern, effective and well-functioning agency.
• Reinforce international cooperation between Latin America and the UK.
• Effective penalty system and adequate criteria for defining anticompetitive behavior is in place.
• Countries overcome difficulties when making use of investigative powers.
• Leniency and amnesty programme are successful on unmasking collusion and providing evidence.
The project should draw on UK expertise in aspects of enforcement including but not limited to:
Compare investigatory tools and evaluate the efficiency of current investigative process.
Improve prioritisation of tasks when selecting cases for in-depth investigation e.g. high economic value over high significance such as deterrence value.
Training on best practices for conducting dawn raids. Including the planning and preparation, logistics of the raid and how to search for evidence.
Making best use of digital forensic tools and how to take depositions on the company’s premises.
Improve the use of leniency program, including the guidelines, dissemination, implementation and promotion of the mechanism for effective collaboration and information disclosure.
Identify regional agreements in place for cooperation and which will allow authorities to conduct inspections on other jurisdictions.
Review and compare domestic fining policies, with a view to identify the most effective types of sanctions.
Understand the practical challenges with establishing an effective fining policy.
Make recommendations on methodology to set fines, optimal fine range and adjustment for aggravating and attenuating circumstances.
Learn the importance and policy implications of sanctions directly affecting individuals (such as criminal penalties and director
disqualification) versus sanctions which are imposed on businesses.
Cartels and mergers remedies
Capacity-building on strategies to successfully detect cartels either through proactive or reactive detection tools.
How to assess possible anti-competitive mergers.
Training on mergers and acquisitions will include the optimal design and implementation of merger procedures.
Provide evaluation methods, for knowing when remedies would be sufficient to address key competition concerns.
Establish thresholds for merger review or for conducting investigation.
The training should be concentrated on the Pacific Alliance (Chile, Colombia, Peru and Mexico) +2 Costa Rica and Panama. If matching funds can be found from elsewhere the project can include neighboring countries.
The deadline for concept bids is Thursday, 2nd of May 2014.
The projects will need to start by June 2014 and finish by March 2015 at the latest.
Individual projects should be up to £40,000 each. Co-funding is desirable.
For further details of eligibility follow this link and scroll down to “How to apply for funding” you will find three documents (1) Prosperity Programme Strategy (2) How to complete a concept bid (3) Project Proposal – Concept Form .
We request that when drawing up the bid, you include the following points:
Why is your organizations the best one to do this work and not another implementer.
How will the project lead to transformational change; practical interventions leading to real differences to decision making; evidence or analysis translating into action plans.
How this project will profile UK expertise and what is the direct measurable UK benefit.
Strategic fit to the Prosperity Programme Strategy.
Rationale for project – Including why the project should take place now.
Stakeholder buy-in: Host governments must have been consulted and be supportive
Sustainability once the project has been completed.
UK implementers: send your bids to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Implementers in Latin America or elsewhere: send your bids to firstname.lastname@example.org and Cc/inform the Prosperity Officer at the nearest British Embassy.