9/12/2009 - OECD countries and the eight others who have signed the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention have committed to stepping up their fight against bribery and corruption.
The 38 countries have agreed to put in place new measures that will reinforce their efforts to prevent, detect and investigate foreign bribery.
These include new provisions for combating small facilitation payments, protecting whistleblowers and improving communication between public officials and law enforcement authorities.
“This new Recommendation strengthens the legal framework for fighting bribery and corruption and ensures Parties to the Convention do more than enact laws to implement the Convention. They must put words into action,” Mr Gurría added. “The message we are sending on foreign bribery is clear. The only ones who should pay the price for this crime are its perpetrators.”
“It is not a victimless crime,” said US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke at the event. “It’s not just greasing the wheels of business. It is cheating the people of these countries.”
“The United States fully supports the OECD’s anti-corruption agenda,” said US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in a video message to an OECD event in Paris. “We also are encouraging our major trading partners that have not yet acceded to the convention to join our efforts.”
This Recommendation for Further Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials calls on the 38 State Parties to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention to, inter alia:
• Ensure companies cannot avoid sanctions by using agents and intermediaries to bribe for them;
• Periodically review policies and approach on small facilitation payments. These are legal in some countries if the payment is made to a government employee to speed up an administrative process;
• Improve co-operation between countries on foreign bribery investigations and the seizure, confiscation and recovery of the proceeds of transnational bribery;
• Provide effective channels for reporting foreign bribery to law enforcement authorities and for protecting whistleblowers from retaliation; and
• Working more closely with the private sector to adopt more stringent internal controls, ethics and compliance programmes and measures to prevent and detect bribery.
The OECD Working Group on Bribery will monitor countries’ progress in putting these measures in place from the beginning of 2010 as part of their quarterly peer-review meetings.
The Recommendation makes up the third branch of OECD’s three-part anti-bribery framework, which also includes the Anti-Bribery Convention, the framework’s principal instrument, and the 2009 Recommendation on the Non-Tax Deductibility of Bribes.
More information is available at www.oecd.org/corruption
For comment or for further information, journalists should contact Mary Crane, OECD Anti-Corruption Division Communications Officer (tel. +33 1 45 24 97 04).