The principal objective of Phase 1 is to evaluate whether the legal texts through which participants implement the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention meet the standard set by the Convention. Phase 1 also evaluates initial actions to implement the 1997 Revised Convention Recommendation and provides an opportunity for countries to learn from the experiences and approaches of others.
Phase 1 includes elements of both self and mutual evaluation. The approach is “vertical” or based on examinations country-by-country. In consultation with the country examined, two countries are chosen to lead the examination. The countries acting as lead examiners choose the experts who take part in the preparation of the preliminary report. The entire group of countries Party to the Convention evaluates each country’s performance and adopts conclusions.
Elements of the Phase 1 mutual evaluation procedure
Preparation of the evaluation
The replies to the questionnaire must be precise and provide sufficient detail to permit an assessment of conformity of laws with the Convention and consistency of laws and practice with the 1997 Revised Recommendation. Replies must reflect all relevant elements of the legal system (including other relevant laws, regulations, judicial precedent, other treaties, the constitution) to provide a complete picture of the legal implementation of the Convention and teh 1997 Revised Recommendation.
Replies to questions concerning the Convention must also take into account information in the 1997 Revised Recommendation.
Replies to the questionnaire as well as relevant texts must be provided in one of the two official languages of the OECD: English or French. The replies are then circulated to all participants in the Working Group.
The lead examiners and OECD Secretariat examine the replies to ensure they are complete and, if necessary, requests additional information from the examined country.
Working Group evaluation and adoption of report
The evaluation has as its objective to clarify questions, adopt a final report, and formulate conclusions addressed to the examined country.
The country being examined has the opportunity to make an initial presentation of its approach.
The lead examiners may also be called upon to make preliminary comments or ask initial questions during the evaluation. Although the lead examiners can help initiate the discussion, all delegates are invited to participate in the evaluation.
The report can be adopted by consensus or can reflect differences in opinion among participants in the Working Group.
Other OECD bodies
The Working Group is responsible for overall review of country performance in implementing the Convention and the 1997 Revised Recommendation. However, they may draw on information developed by other OECD bodies, particularly the Committee on Fiscal Affairs, the Working Party on Export Credits and Credit Guarantees and the Development Assistance Committee.
Because peer review is an intergovernmental process, business and civil society groups are not invited to participate in the formal Phase 1 evaluation process, in particular, in the evaluation by the Working Group.
Of course business and civil society representatives may wish to express their views to the Group.
Providing the schedule of the country consultations publicly permits such groups to provide any information or opinions in writing in a timely way.
Each country bears the costs of translating their implementing legislation into one of the two official languages of the OECD: English or French. The examined country also bears the costs associated with filling out the questionnaire and reviewing the legislation and related reports.