Under the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention) and its related instruments, governments are obliged to take action to deter and sanction bribery of foreign public officials in international business transactions supported by official export credits. Since 2000, this general requirement related to the Anti Bribery Convention has been reinforced by a set of specific common undertakings agreed by Members of the OECD’s Working Party on Export Credits and Credit Guarantees (ECG), i.e. the 2000 Action Statement on Bribery and Officially Supported Export Credits.
In 2006, based upon their experience in implementing the original Action Statement, feedback from Phase II reviews conducted in relation to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention as well as input from Civil Society Organisations, Members agreed to strengthen the Action Statement, which was converted in December 2006 into an OECD Recommendation.
These measures now represent the view of whole government and are included in the OECD anti-corruption acquis. In the context of levelling the playing field among all providers of official export credits, Article 3 of this Recommendation seeks to encourage non-OECD Members who are Parties to the Anti-Bribery Convention to adhere to the provisions of the Recommendation.
In comparison with the 2000 Action Statement, the 2006 OECD Recommendation is much more specific in terms of the actions that Members must take. The following items represent the key enhancements and additions:
Members are required to verify whether the exporter/applicant is listed on the publicly available debarment lists
of the major international financial institutions (e.g. World Bank Group).
Exporters/applicants must be prepared to provide, upon demand, the names of persons acting on their behalf in connection with the transaction and details about the amounts and purpose of commissions/fees paid.
Members will now be required to scrutinise more closely (i.e. apply «enhanced due diligence») applications for official export credit involving exporters/applicants that have been debarred by an International Financial Institution, are under charge for bribery, or have been convicted of bribery in the past (e.g. on the basis of negative information obtained in relation to the second and third tiret above).
Members must develop and implement disclosure procedures, to disclose to law enforcement authorities, instances of credible evidence. For the purposes of the Action Statement, credible evidence is defined as «evidence of a quality which, after critical analysis, a court would find to be reasonable and sufficient grounds upon which to base a decision on the issue if no contrary evidence were submitted».