Bribery in international business

Poland needs strategy to meet growing risk of foreign bribery


20/06/2013- The current Polish framework for fighting foreign bribery is still inadequate to fully meet foreign bribery risks resulting from Poland’s growing economy, says a new OECD report.


The OECD Working Group on Bribery has just completed its report on Poland’s application of the Convention of Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions and related instruments.


Poland has one of the fastest-growing OECD economies and has experienced a tenfold increase in foreign trade over the last decade. As a result, Polish entrepreneurs may be increasingly exposed to bribery risks in their cross-border business transactions. However, Poland has not successfully prosecuted a case in the twelve and a half years since its foreign bribery offence came into force.


Recommendations made by the Working Group include that Poland:


  • Establish a strategy to guarantee resources and expertise are available to investigate and prosecute foreign bribery cases;
  • Ensure perpetrators cannot escape punishment for foreign bribery by simply notifying the law enforcement authorities that they have bribed;
  • Increase the fines for companies and make sure that they are held responsible for foreign bribery, even if  the persons who perpetrated the offence are not convicted; and,
  • Clarify that bribes are not tax deductible.

The Report also highlights positive aspects of Poland’s efforts to fight foreign bribery. For instance, Poland effectively responds to requests from other Parties to the Convention for the exchange of information in foreign bribery cases.


The Working Group on Bribery – made up of the 34 OECD Member countries plus Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, Russia and South Africa – adopted Poland’s report in its third phase of monitoring implementation of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.


The Report, available at, lists all the recommendations of the Working Group to Poland on pages 46–49, and includes an overview of recent enforcement actions and specific legal, policy and institutional features of Poland’s framework for fighting foreign bribery. The Report invites Poland to present in writing in one year its strategy on investigating and prosecuting cases. According to the normal procedure, Poland will also submit a written report to the Working Group within two years on steps taken to implement the recommendations. This report will also be made publicly available.


For further information, journalists are invited to contact Mary Crane-Charef, OECD Anti-Corruption Division Communications Coordinator, email; + (33) 1 45 24 97 04. For further information on OECD’s work fighting corruption, please visit


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