Transparency International calls on governments to crack down on foreign bribery

Only 4 countries actively enforce 15 year-old rules designed to keep global trade fair

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat



Translations: ES | FR


Many leading economies are failing to stop their companies from spreading corruption around the world, anti-corruption group Transparency International warned today in its annual progress report on enforcement of the OECD anti-bribery convention.

Fifteen years after the entry into force of the convention, only four of 41 countries signed up are actively investigating and prosecuting companies that cheat taxpayers when they bribe foreign officials to get or inflate contracts, or obtain licences and concessions. Five countries were classified as having moderate enforcement, while another eight had limited enforcement.

“For the anti-bribery convention to achieve a fundamental change in the way companies operate, we need a majority of leading exporters to be actively enforcing it, so that the other countries will be pressured to follow suit,” said Transparency International chair José Ugaz. “Unfortunately, we are a long way from that tipping point, and that means the vision of corruption-free global trade remains far away.”

Twenty-two of the countries party to the OECD Convention are doing little or nothing by way of enforcement. The 22 countries represent 27 per cent of world exports. Transparency International said enforcement is low because investigators lack political backing to go after big companies, especially where the considerations of national economic interest trump anti-corruption commitments. Investigators also often lack the resources to investigate complex white-collar crime.

Governments need to act on secret company ownership

One reason cross-border bribery in international business deals thrives - despite being outlawed - is that investigators lack the resources to track the complex money laundering techniques increasingly used to conceal bribery deals, Transparency International said.

Today corrupt deals are increasingly masked by sophisticated shell companies whose real beneficial owner is not known, even to authorities.

The OECD needs to help authorities work together across borders if they are to keep pace with the increasingly cross-border nature of crime, Transparency International said. The anti-corruption group also reiterated its call on the EU and G20 to ensure the publication of beneficial ownership in public registers of company information.

"Fifteen years should have been enough to enforce these commitments. The OECD has worked hard to make the convention a powerful tool and pushed governments to adopt tough laws. Now it needs to make sure that enforcement authorities have all the support they need to counter the growing power of cross-border crime networks,” Ugaz said.

The Convention was adopted in 1997 and entered into force on 15 February 1999.

The four leading enforcers (Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States) completed 225 cases and started 57 new cases from 2010-2013. The other 35 countries completed 20 and started 53. Twenty countries have not brought any criminal charges for major cross-border corruption by companies in the last four years.

Canada is the only country to show significant improvement since last year’s report, having significantly improved its foreign bribery law and started several investigations.

Nine of the 20 countries with the least public sector corruption are doing little or nothing to make sure their companies follow the same standards overseas, allowing them to contribute to public sector corruption elsewhere.

Nine of the countries in the G20 are in the little or no enforcement categories, meaning they are failing to meet the goals set in the G20’s anti-corruption action plan.

###

Transparency International is the civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption


For any press enquiries please contact

Chris Sanders
T: +49 30 3438 20 666
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Latest

Support Transparency International

Blog: Gender and corruption: where do we go from here?

While corruption and gender have become increasingly prominent on the global agenda, and it’s increasingly recognized that anti-corruption measures are central to reducing the gender gap, the pace of change has so far been glacial. Urgent action is needed, but is sorely lacking.

Blog: Verifying the beneficial owner of companies. Why and how.

While existing rules emphasise the need for accurate, reliable and up-to-date beneficial ownership information, verification of information provided by companies is often minimal, when it happens at all.

Troika Laundromat signals a different kind of financial crisis

The Troika Laundromat investigation shines a spotlight on a cast of new and familiar characters in the ongoing saga surrounding flows of dirty money through the world’s financial system.

الأبعاد الخطيرة للتعديلات الدستورية المقترحة في مصر

يتأهب نواب البرلمان المصري للمصادقة على سلسلة من التعديلات الدستورية، التي ستؤدي في حال تمريرها إلى ترسيخ مزيد من السلطة بيد الرئيس، وتنصيب الجيش مجددا كأعلى سلطة في البلاد.

The alarming message of Egypt’s constitutional amendments

Parliamentarians in Egypt look set to approve a series of constitutional amendments this week that, if passed, would consolidate power in the office of the president, while restoring the military as the ultimate authority in the country.

Восточная Европа и Центральная Азия: слабая система сдержек и противовесов

Индекс восприятия коррупции (ИВК) за этот год представляет печальную картину касательно мер по борьбе с коррупцией в Восточной Европе и Центральной Азии. За несколько лет в этом регионе был достигнут очень незначительный прогресс в борьбе с коррупцией.

الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا: انتشار الفساد في ظل ضعف المؤسسات وتراجع الحقوق السياسية

كشف مؤشر مدركات الفساد 2018 عن صورة قاتمة لواقع الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا حيث أن معظم بلدان المنطقة قد أخفقت في مكافحة الفساد على الرغم من أن قلة قليلة من البلدان قد أحرزت تقدما تدريجيا.

Afrique subsaharienne:Les régimes non démocratiques sapent les efforts de lutte contre la corruption

L’Indice de perception de la corruption (IPC) présente cette année un tableau bien sombre de l’Afrique : seuls 8 pays sur 49 obtiennent un score supérieur à 43 sur les 100 points que compte l’Indice. Malgré l’engagement pris par les dirigeants africains de faire de 2018 l’Année africaine de lutte contre la corruption, les avancées concrètes se font encore attendre.

Trouble at the top: why high-scoring countries aren’t corruption-free

For the third year running, the top seven countries in the Corruption Perceptions Index 2018 consist of the four Nordic nations – Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway – plus New Zealand, Singapore and Switzerland. Yet that doesn’t mean that these countries are corruption-free.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media