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Bribery in international business

The OECD is gravely concerned about Greece’s detection and enforcement of the foreign bribery offence

 

22/03/2022 - Detection and enforcement of the foreign bribery offence require urgent improvement in Greece. Despite the Convention entering into force over 24 years ago, Greece has no convictions for foreign bribery. In addition, wholesale reform is required to the legislation concerning the liability of legal persons, according to a new report by the OECD Working Group on Bribery.


The 44-country OECD Working Group on Bribery has just completed its Phase 4 evaluation of Greece’s implementation of the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions and related instruments. 

Whilst welcoming the efforts made by Greece towards the implementation of the Convention and related instruments, the Working Group made a range of recommendations to improve its capacity to combat foreign bribery, including to:

  • urgently take steps to improve the investigation and prosecution of foreign bribery;
  • address key elements of its legal framework, particularly sanctions against natural persons and the liability of legal persons regime;
  • implement new legislation that provides strong and effective protections from retaliation to whistleblowers who report foreign bribery; and
  • strengthen safeguards to protect foreign bribery proceedings being subject to improper influence by concerns of a political nature.

The report also highlights positive developments, such as the establishment of the National Transparency Authority, and the National Coordinating Body for Audit and Accountability in relation to corruption and other offences, and the availability for the full range of investigative techniques under mutual legal assistance.

On 10 March 2022, the OECD Working Group on Bribery adopted the Greece Phase 4 Report. The report lists the recommendations the Working Group made to Greece on pages 67-72, and includes an overview of recent enforcement activity and specific legal, policy, and institutional features of Greece’s framework for fighting foreign bribery. Greece will provide a written update within one year (March 2023) on issues concerning enforcement following the merger of the specialised Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office into the new Economic Crime Prosecutor, the liability of legal persons and whistleblower protection legislation. Within two years (March 2024), Greece will submit a written report to the Working Group on the implementation of all recommendations and its enforcement efforts. The follow-up report will also be made publicly available.

The report is part of the OECD Working Group on Bribery’s fourth phase of monitoring, launched in 2016. Phase 4 looks at the evaluated country’s particular challenges and positive achievements. It also explores issues such as detection, enforcement, corporate liability, and international cooperation, as well as covering unresolved issues from prior reports. 

For further information, journalists are invited to contact Spencer Wilson, Media Relations Manager (tel. +33 1 45 24 81 18).

 

For more information on Greece’s work to fight corruption, please visit https://www.oecd.org/daf/anti-bribery/greece-oecdanti-briberyconvention.htm.

 

Working with over 100 countries, the OECD is a global policy forum that promotes policies to preserve individual liberty and improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.

 

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