Bribery in international business

Conference on “Detection, Investigation and Prosecution of Bribery” and Technical Meeting on “Cooperation in Bribery Investigations and Prosecutions”


Santiago de Chile, 27-28 September 2006

Chile hosted the latest regional anti-corruption event in Santiago de Chile in September 2006, consisting of  a Conference on “Detection, investigation and prosecution of bribery” and a Technical Meeting on "Co-operation in Bribery Investigations and Prosecutions" for Latin and Central American investigators and prosecutors of corruption.

Both the conference and the technical meeting provided an opportunity to continue discussions initiated during earlier events held under the auspices of the Latin America OECD Anti-corruption programme, in particular in Brazil (2004) and Argentina (2005).

Mr Foxley, Chile’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, opened the Conference attended by over 150 participants from 18 countries – 15 of which from the Americas.

Mr Foxley recalled in his opening address the detrimental effects of corruption and the need for counties to engage jointly in high-standard anti-corruption efforts to fighting this evil. He also stressed the importance of intra- and inter-governmental cooperation in the application of anti-corruption frameworks. 

High level officials from institutions in charge of enforcing anti-corruption laws and related provisions in Latin America, a selection of anti-corruption experts from Latin America as well as several prosecutors from OECD and non-OECD countries reported on country level progress regarding implementation and enforcement of anti-corruption laws. They also addressed the need to enhance prosecutions and the intricacies of transnational investigations. Civil society and the trade unions also addressed the Conference. There was agreement that in Latin America there is a need to enhance collaboration between governments and civil society, which can help fight corruption and improve good governance to nurture long term growth and stabilise economies.

The Technical meeting on “Co-operation in Bribery Investigations and Prosecutions” was for invited experts only - many of them investigators or prosecutors - from the countries that had attended the Conference.  The meeting allowed about 40 participants to exchange views on issues related to the “The OECD Convention on Bribery: A commentary on Article 2 – The Responsibility of Legal Persons”, “Mutual Legal Assistance and Extradition” [ English / Spanish ]. In particular, they identified:

  • the most effective means to detect, investigate and prosecute bribery, in particular involving international bribery;
  • the hindrances to detection, investigation and prosecution in the absence of statutory definitions of jurisdiction over liability of legal persons; and
  • the practices, mechanisms and strategies to facilitate and enhance international co-operation.

The OECD organised the event with the Chilean government and in co-operation with the Inter-American Development Bank. It benefited from the support of the Organistion of American States and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Next steps

Both events were well received and assessed as high quality by experts, who expressed a strong interest in continuing dialogue among experts and building networks. They invited the organisers to prepare a summary of the event [ English / Spanish ]. The government of Chile, the IADB and the OECD are currently exploring the possibility of publishing the proceedings of the Conference and the technical meeting.

Based on the needs identified by experts, the different organisations involved will explore further collaboration in designing and organising future events. The IADB, the OAS and the UNODC expressed a strong interest in further collaboration with the OECD.