More enforcement against foreign bribery needed in SA
Transparency International has today released its 2015 Progress Report, Exporting Corruption, on enforcement of the OECD’s Anti-Bribery Convention to which South Africa, together with 40 other countries, is a signatory. Once again, South Africa has been found lacking in its commitment to investigate and prosecute cross-border corruption, that is allegations of South African companies bribing foreign officials in order to secure contracts or licences and concessions.
Transparency International’s progress report is an independent assessment of the enforcement of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention. The Convention is a key instrument for curbing global corruption because the 41 signatory countries account for approximately two-thirds of the world’s exports. One of the fundamental goals of the Convention is to create a corruption-free level playing field for global trade and investment.
The report shows that South Africa has not investigated any major foreign bribery cases in the past four years. However, there has been progress in smaller, less prominent cases where efforts have been made to commence the investigative process, although none have been completed to date.
Encouragingly, the number of cases picked up in the last year has increased three-fold in comparison with the previous three years (2011 to 2013), indicating the start of a more proactive approach to uncovering cases of foreign bribery. The report identifies the strengthening of the Anti-Corruption Task Team (ACTT) by the SA government as a progressive step towards complying with the Anti-Bribery Convention.
Corruption Watch’s executive director, David Lewis, commented: “While the increase in the number of investigations of allegations of foreign bribery is encouraging, in order to meet our commitments under the Convention we will have to see these investigations resulting in prosecutions and sanctions.”
Corruption Watch is the local chapter of Transparency International.
The report can be found at: http://www.corruptionwatch.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/2015_ExportingCorruption_OECDProgressReport_EN.pdf
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