20/07/2022 - The OECD Working Group on Bribery acknowledges that Switzerland continues to play an important role in enforcing foreign bribery but is, however, highly concerned that Switzerland has not adopted longstanding legislative reforms. These reforms were aimed at addressing key recommendations from previous evaluations, including the Phase 3 evaluation report in 2011, the Phase 4 evaluation report in 2018 and the Two-Year Written Follow-up report in 2020.
In 2011, the Working Group recommended that Switzerland promptly adopt protections for private sector whistleblowers by providing an appropriate regulatory framework to compensate and protect private sector employees who report suspicions of foreign bribery from any discriminatory or disciplinary action. In March 2020, the draft law designed to address this recommendation was rejected by the Parliament and all other legislative initiatives to date have likewise failed. Despite ongoing parliamentary debate, no reforms in this area are currently under consideration, which is very concerning.
The Working Group is equally concerned that Switzerland is not considering increasing the statutory maximum fine for companies convicted of foreign bribery. The fact that the Swiss law sets this maximum at CHF 5 million (approximately EUR 4.9 million) undermines satisfactory implementation of corporate liability in Switzerland.
The Working Group will commence preparations for a High-Level Mission to Switzerland in December 2022 unless the Swiss authorities take concrete steps to satisfactorily implement these two key recommendations by that time.
For further information, journalists are invited to contact Amelia Godber of the OECD Anti-Corruption Division or the OECD Media Division (+33 (0)1 45 24 85 75).
For more information on Switzerland’s work to fight corruption, please visit https://www.oecd.org/daf/anti-bribery/switzerland-oecdanti-briberyconvention.htm.
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