18/12/2007 - Brazil should rapidly amend its legislation to make companies directly liable for the payment of bribes to foreign public officials, and to ensure that effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions are applicable, according to a new report by the OECD Working Group on Bribery.
The 37-country OECD Working Group on Bribery, in the context of its regular cycle of reviews, has just completed a review of Brazil's enforcement of the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions. In addition, other main recommendations of the Group are that Brazil should:
be more proactive in detecting, investigating and prosecuting cases of foreign bribery;
clarify that tax rules prohibit the deductibility of bribes to foreign public officials;
strengthen its efforts to raise awareness about the fight against foreign bribery in both the public and private sector;
boost the existing law enforcement resources dedicated to fighting complex economic crimes.
The Working Group also highlighted positive aspects of Brazil's efforts to fight foreign bribery including the law enforcement authorities' use of a range of specialist investigative techniques to uncover complex economic crime and corruption cases in Brazil. Another promising development is the ongoing work of the Brazilian authorities to fine-tune the anti-money laundering reporting system which provides a good basis to detect foreign bribery-related money laundering. The Working Group also encouraged legislative efforts to oblige all large Brazilian companies to publish consolidated financial statements and to conduct independent audits of their accounts.
The report, available at http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/61/30/39801089.pdf, lists all the recommendations of the Working Group on pages 63 to 66, and includes an overview of recent enforcement actions and specific legal and policy features in Brazil for combating the bribery of foreign public officials. As with all other OECD Working Group members, Brazil will orally report to the Working Group on its actions to implement the Working Group's recommendations after one year. Brazil will submit a written report to the Working Group within two years, which will be the basis of a publicly-available Working Group evaluation of Brazil's implementation of the recommendations.
For further information, journalists are invited to contact the OECD's Media Division on (33) 1 45 24 97 00. More information on OECD's work to fight corruption, visit www.oecd.org/daf/nocorruption.