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Corruption: Bulgaria should boost efforts to fight bribery in international business deals

 

31/03/2011 - Bulgaria should do more to prevent, report, detect and prosecute foreign bribery cases, according to a new report by the OECD Working Group on Bribery.

In the context of its regular cycle of reviews, the OECD Working Group on Bribery has just completed an evaluation of Bulgaria’s enforcement of the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions and related instruments.

Other main recommendations of the Group are that Bulgaria should:

  • Raise awareness among private and public sectors of the offence and sanctions for bribing foreign public officials;
  • Provide adequate training and resources to investigators, judges, and prosecutors in order to strengthen the investigation of complex financial cases;
  • Substantially amend and enforce its law on liability of legal persons for foreign bribery;
  • Streamline and amend its legal framework on confiscation;
  • Implement its commitment to explicitly prohibit the tax deduction of bribes.


The Working Group also highlighted positive aspects of Bulgaria’s efforts to fight foreign bribery. Bulgaria has one conviction for foreign bribery and an investigation in a second case. It has made efforts to reform its judiciary, law enforcement system and many of its laws. Wiretap evidence is now directly admissible at trial after a recent legislative amendment. A constitutional amendment took effect in 2007 and reduced judicial immunity, thereby implementing the Working Group’s Phase 2 recommendation on this issue.

The Working Group - made up of the 34 OECD Member countries plus Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria and South Africa - adopted Bulgaria’s report under its third phase of monitoring. It is available at www.oecd.org/daf/nocorruption and lists all the recommendations of the Working Group on pages 35-38, and includes an overview of recent enforcement action and specific legal and policy features in Bulgaria for combating the bribery of foreign public officials. Bulgaria will make an oral follow-up report on its actions to implement certain key recommendations of the Working Group after one year. Bulgaria will further submit a written report to the Working Group within two years, which will be the basis of a publicly available evaluation by the Working Group of Bulgaria’s implementation of the recommendations.

For further information, journalists are invited to contact Mary Crane-Charef of the OECD’s Anti-Corruption Division at mary.crane-charef@oecd.org or on (+33) 1 45 24 97 04.

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