21/10/2019 - The OECD Working Group on Bribery is to send a high-level mission to Brasilia as soon as possible in November, to meet with senior officials, to reinforce the message that law enforcement capacity to investigate and prosecute foreign bribery should be preserved in order to ensure that Brazil remains able and committed to meeting its obligations under the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.
The decision follows concern by the Working Group at recent actions taken by Executive, Legislative and Judiciary Branches of the Brazilian State that might seriously affect Brazil’s ability to fully meet its obligations under the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, in particular under Article 5 on independent investigations and prosecutions. In July 2019, the OECD Working Group on Bribery issued a public statement highlighting its concern to the Brazilian authorities that the approval of a Bill introducing an overly broad definition of what constitutes abuse of authority by judges and prosecutors would have a significant chilling effect on anti-corruption prosecutions and investigations in Brazil and beyond. Despite these concerns, in August 2019, the Brazilian Congress approved a Law on abuse of authority (13. 869/2019), which will enter into force in January 2020.
Other equally concerning developments have since been brought to the attention of the Working Group. The decision of the President of the Supreme Court to halt all investigations and criminal proceedings in the country based on Financial Intelligence Unit’s and other administrative agencies’ reports, without prior judicial authorisation, and the attempts to restrict tax authorities’ capacity to detect, report, and investigate foreign bribery and money laundering are among the preoccupying measures and decisions that will continue to be closely monitored by the WGB.
While recognising the legislative and institutional progress and enforcement achievements demonstrated by Brazil until recently, the Working Group strongly encourages Brazil to preserve both its legislative and regulatory anti-corruption framework as well as the full capacity of law enforcement to investigate and prosecute foreign bribery.
For more information on the implementation of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention in Brazil, please visit: http://www.oecd.org/daf/anti-bribery/brazil-oecdanti-briberyconvention.htm.
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