29/11/2011 - The OECD today invited Colombia to join its Working Group on Bribery and to accede to the Anti-Bribery Convention. OECD Deputy Secretary-General Richard Boucher signed an exchange of letters with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos at a ceremony in Bogotá, making Colombia the 40th member of the Working Group on Bribery.
Mr Boucher also conveyed the OECD’s invitation to Colombia to become an observer of the OECD’s Competition Committee, as well as to adhere to the Declaration on International Investment and Multinational Enterprises and so become a full participant in the OECD’s Investment Committee.
““As it steps up its investment abroad, it’s important that Colombia has clearly made anti-corruption a top priority,” Mr Boucher said at the signing ceremony. “We are confident that Colombia’s accession to the Anti-Bribery Convention will not only strengthen its ability to fight corruption but it will also strengthen OECD efforts to stamp out bribery and create a level-playing field.”
Colombia will now embark on the domestic legislative processes for ratification of and accession to the OECD Convention. Like all members of the Working Group on Bribery, and in accordance with its procedures, Colombia will undergo detailed reviews of its anti-bribery laws to confirm that they meet the Convention’s standards, and that they are effectively implemented.
The OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, which entered into force in 1999, outlaws the bribery of foreign public officials in international business transactions. Through country monitoring and extensive peer-led follow-up, the OECD Convention seeks to ensure that the fight against bribery is effective, thus creating a level playing field for fair competition. Since the Convention came into force, 199 individuals and 91 companies have been sanctioned for foreign bribery offenses.
The 34 OECD member countries plus Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria and South Africa are Parties to the Convention. Russia is also a Member of the Working Group on Bribery.
More information about the OECD work on Columbia is available here.
Journalists are invited to contact Spencer Wilson of the OECD’s Media Division (tel. +33 1 45 24 81 18).