Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs

Poland should strengthen corporate liability laws that apply to foreign bribery

 

01/02/2007 - Poland should strengthen its corporate liability laws and close a significant loophole that makes it difficult to prosecute companies that bribe foreign public officials, according to a new report by the OECD Working Group on Bribery.

The 36-country OECD Working Group on Bribery, in the context of its regular cycle of reviews, has just completed a review of Poland’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 Poland should:

  • change its law to confirm that bribes to foreign public officials cannot be tax deductible,
  • address concerns about an ‘impunity’ provision in the Penal Code which allows perpetrators of foreign bribery to escape punishment automatically by notifying the authorities of the offence,
  • be more proactive in detecting, investigating and prosecuting cases of foreign bribery, and
  • raise awareness of foreign bribery in both the public and private sector.

The Working Group welcomed Poland’s declaration that it would address the deficiency in the law on corporate liability and highlighted positive aspects of Poland’s efforts to fight foreign bribery. Responsive systems to provide information, evidence and other forms of mutual legal assistance to law enforcement agencies in other countries are in place. 

Poland is strengthening its investigative capacities to combat foreign bribery and other major crimes by creating a new structure of organised crime units within the prosecution authority. The Group also found that the Polish export credit agency is actively developing and strengthening its procedures to deter and detect foreign bribery. Authorities’ ongoing efforts and close co-operation to fine tune the anti-money laundering reporting system provide a good foundation to detect foreign bribery-related money laundering. In addition, Poland created a number of specialised anti-corruption police units in 2004.  
     

The report lists all the recommendations of the Working Group on pages 66-69, and includes an overview of recent enforcement actions and specific legal and policy features in Poland for combating the bribery of foreign public officials.  As with all other OECD Working Group members, Poland will orally report to the Working Group on its actions to implement the Working Group’s recommendations after one year.  Poland 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 Poland’s implementation of the recommendations.

For further information, journalists are invited to contact the OECD’s Media Division (tel. (33) 1 45 24 97 00) or Patrick Moulette, Head of the Anti-Corruption Division (tel. (33) 1 45 24 91 02).

For more information OECD’s work to fight corruption, visit www.oecd.org/corruption.

 

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