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OECD agrees to clamp down on bribery in export credit transactions

Transparency International welcomes “clear signal to private sector”

OECD member states announced in Paris today that they have agreed on an action programme to deter bribery in government-supported export credit transactions. Transparency International, the global anti-corruption organisation, welcomed the decision reached by the OECD Export Credit Agency Working Group. Transparency International has consistently called for an exclusion of corruption-tainted contracts from export credit guarantees.

The export credit and export credit insurance agencies of OECD countries will henceforth also demand written statements from all companies applying for coverage, stating they have not, and will not, engage in bribery. If bribery is established, the agency will deny coverage or reject claims for indemnification and will refer the case to the judicial authorities.

"We regard this as a major breakthrough," said Dr Michael Wiehen, a member of the board of Transparency International. "This reflects the position we presented to the OECD as long as a year ago," said Wiehen. The agreement will end the contradiction between the policies of the OECD countries' export credit agencies and the 1997 OECD anti-bribery convention, which makes it a crime to make bribe payments to foreign public officials.

"OECD members are finally closing a major gap," said Wiehen. "This is also a strong signal to the private sector that OECD member states will no longer support or tacitly approve of business that is based on corruption."

In the past, many private sector companies became involved in corrupt projects in developing and transition countries because they enjoyed the full support of their countries' export credit agencies. "This will now be a thing of the past," Dr Wiehen concluded. "Transparency International will be actively monitoring the OECD countries to see if these words are put into action."

For any press enquiries please contact

Dr Michael Wiehen
Member of the TI Board of Directors
Tel. +49 89/4895 4440, +49 89/3236 2820

Jeff Lovitt
Head of Public Relations
Transparency International Secretariat
Tel. +49-30-343 820-45