22/06/2021 – The OECD Working Group on Bribery is seriously concerned by the continued lack of enforcement of the foreign bribery offence in Hungary. Hungary has only sanctioned foreign bribery in one small-scale case in 2008-2011 since 1999. Despite the increase in risks of bribery of foreign public officials by Hungarian companies due to growing export activity, no foreign bribery investigation or prosecution is ongoing, except for a possible money laundering-related case. Hungary should urgently develop and implement a proactive foreign bribery detection strategy, as recommended in its Phase 4 report in August 2019.
The Working Group is also concerned by the limited progress made by Hungary in implementing the 32 recommendations formulated by the Group in the country’s Phase 4 report. Important steps were taken, including the revision of the definition of foreign public officials, the allocation of increased resources to the authority in charge of investigating and prosecuting the foreign bribery offence, and the introduction of a more proactive approach to prosecuting legal persons. However, 23 recommendations remain unimplemented, including 12 recommendations dating back from Hungary’s Phase 3 report (March 2012).
In order to demonstrate Hungary’s commitment to its obligations under the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, it should address the absence of enforcement and the lack of implementation of these longstanding recommendations. Hungary should urgently address the outstanding issues from Phase 3 and Phase 4 in a broad range of areas, including whistleblower protection, training and awareness-raising in the public and private sector, detection, investigation and prosecution of the foreign bribery offence, tax measures to combat bribery and mutual legal assistance.
The Working Group will continue to monitor developments in all areas relevant to Hungary’s capacity to effectively fight against foreign bribery offences, including judicial independence and media freedom.
For further information, journalists are invited to contact the OECD's Media Relations Division on (33) 1 45 24 97 00 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Hungary's work to fight corruption, please visit https://www.oecd.org/daf/anti-bribery/hungary-oecdanti-briberyconvention.htm
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