9 December 2021
On 26 November 2021, on the proposal of the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions (the Working Group on Bribery), the OECD Council adopted the 2021 Recommendation for Further Combating Bribery of Public Officials in International Business Transactions (2021 Anti-Bribery Recommendation). The 2021 Anti-Bribery Recommendation updates and expands upon the 2009 Anti-Bribery Recommendation, with new recommendations for countries to prevent, detect and investigate foreign bribery cases.
The 2021 Anti-Bribery Recommendation complements the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (OECD Anti-Bribery Convention), which obligates its Parties to hold individuals and companies liable for bribery of foreign public officials in international business transactions. With the adoption of the 2021 Anti-Bribery Recommendation, the Parties to the Convention reiterate the importance of vigorously implementing the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, in line with recommendations made by the Working Group on Bribery through its peer-review monitoring mechanism, and reaffirm their commitment to robustly enforcing their foreign bribery laws and related offences under the Convention.
The 2021 Anti-Bribery Recommendation addresses key issues that have emerged or significantly evolved in the global anti-corruption landscape since the adoption of the previous Anti-Bribery Recommendation in 2009. In particular, the new instrument reflects recent anti‑corruption challenges, good practices and cross-cutting issues identified by the Working Group on Bribery in its monitoring reports on countries’ implementation of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention and 2009 Recommendation, and in the context of its thematic studies on topics such as international co-operation, liability of legal persons, detection of foreign bribery and non-trial resolutions. The 2021 Anti-Bribery Recommendation introduces new sections on the demand side of foreign bribery, sanctions and confiscation, non-trial resolutions, international co-operation, protection of reporting persons, incentives for compliance, and data protection. It broadens the scope of existing recommendations on investigations and enforcement, awareness raising, and training, and public advantages, including public procurement. It also updates the Good Practice Guidance for companies on internal controls, ethics, and compliance programmes or measures for preventing and detecting foreign bribery.
By expanding upon existing recommendations and adopting new ones, the 2021 Anti-Bribery Recommendation contributes further to fulfilling the commitment expressed by Parties in the 2016 Ministerial Declaration to advance the fight against foreign bribery into a new era of enforcement. As such, the 2021 Anti-Bribery Recommendation reflects Parties’ commitment to carrying out their obligations under the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention and to continuing to lead in the fight against bribery of foreign public officials in international business transactions.