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OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions : Policy Briefing



The aim of the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions is to prevent bribery in international business transactions by requiring OECD countries to criminalise the act of bribing foreign public officials.

The Convention came into force in 1999. It comprises two parts: binding commitments provided by the Convention, as well as provisions set out in its 1997 Recommendations. Signatories, who include all 30 OECD members as well as 5 non-members, accept the provisions of both.

The OECD Convention only covers the conduct of the person or enterprise offering or making the bribe and does not cover bribes paid to private persons or bribes paid to public officials for reasons other than for obtaining or retaining business or other improper advantage in international business transactions. As such, the focus of the OECD Convention is extremely narrow.

The Convention's primary effect is to make the bribing of a foreign public official by OECD multinational companies a criminal offence. This was not previously the case for many countries. The specific implications of the national legislation vary from country to country but whilst the OECD is aiming for functional equivalence, it is clear that some national legislation goes further than others with the UK legislation, enacted in 2002, outlawing the use of facilitations payments (a category that was actually exempted in the text of the Convention).

ROLE OF THE TRADE UNIONS

An important element of the Phase 2 review is the involvement of business, trade unions and civil society. Their consultation is co-ordinated by the Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC), the Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC), the International Chamber of Commerce and Transparency International. Collectively these 4 organisations represent a wide spectrum of view points.

The aim is for these organisations to jointly engage in a consultation meeting that aims to help hold government to account and ensure that the OECD monitoring process benefits from this independent input.

MONITORING

The OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions is responsible for monitoring compliance with the Convention. This process is divided into two stages:

Phase 1: began in April 1999 and aimed to review the adequacy of domestic legislation in view of the binding commitments of the Convention;
Phase 2: is on-going throughout the period 2001-2006 and aims to assess the adequacy of a range of institutional measures (other than legislation) put in place to support the rules and laws of the Convention.

Phase 2 is much broader in focus than Phase 1. It includes an assessment of compliance with non-criminal aspects of the 1997 Revised Recommendations.

Phase 2 monitoring comprises the following stages:

1Completion of questionnaire: OECD governments are required to complete a standard questionnaire, as well as to answer country-specific questions based on the findings of Phase 1;
2In-country reviews: a review panel undertakes country visits to hold meetings with government departments, as well as other key stake-holders � including trade unions;
3Preparation of a preliminary report; the review team prepares a preliminary report which contains a set of recommendations for action to be submitted to the government;
4Consultation on the report: the OECD Working Group on Bribery discusses the report;
5Adoption of a country report: the OECD Working Group on Bribery adopts the country report
Transmission to the OECD Council: the OECD Working Group on Bribery submits the report to the OECD Council.


WHO CAN CONTRIBUTE

Anybody can contribute to the monitoring of the OECD Convention � whether you are an individual or a small civil society organisation. It is particularly important that individuals or organisations that are based in the developing countries or transitional states get involved.

Just check out the schedule of country reviews and then send any evidence that you might have concerning either:

the behaviour of that country�s multinationals;
or the adequacy of that country�s mechanisms for supporting the convention


The following lists all references contained in our database that are relevant to this briefing
http://news.ft.com/ft/gx.cgi/ftc?pagename=View&c=Article&cid=FT3MKFOEUTC&live=true&tagid=ZZZU2IUKJ0C&Collid=Any [11/9/2001] 'Terrorism bill set to include anti-bribery law' by Jean Eaglesham, Legal Correspondent [Source ID = 6154]

Financial Times [1/9/2002] 'Call to curb tax relief on UK bribes overseas' by Jean Eaglesham, Legal Correspondent [Source ID = 6283]

OECD [10/10/2002] 'STEPS TAKEN AND PLANNED FUTURE ACTIONS BY PARTICIPATING COUNTRIES TO RATIFY AND IMPLEMENT THE CONVENTION ON COMBATING BRIBERY OF FOREIGN PUBLIC OFFICIALS IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS Information as of 10 October 2002' by OECD: http://www.oecd.org/pdf/M00025000/M00025443.pdf [Source ID = 7369]

OECD [4/10/1998] 'CONVENTION ON COMBATING BRIBERY OF FOREIGN PUBLIC OFFICIALS IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS' by OECD: http://www.oecd.org/pdf/M00007000/M00007323.pdf [Source ID = 7386]

OECD [1/1/1999] 'PARTICIPATION IN THE OECD WORKING GROUP ON BRIBERY IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS AND THE CONVENTION ON COMBATING BRIBERY OF FOREIGN PUBLIC OFFICIALS IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS' by OECD: http://www.oecd.org/pdf/M000014000/M00014151.pdf [Source ID = 7390]

OECD [5/7/2002] 'REPORT BY THE COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT AND MULTINATIONAL ENTERPRISES: IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONVENTION ON COMBATING BRIBERY OF FOREIGN PUBLIC OFFICIALS IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS AND THE 1997 RECOMMENDATION' by CIME: http://www.oecd.org/pdf/M00029000/M00029509.pdf [Source ID = 7418]

 [9/10/1998] 'Act on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials In International Business Transactions dated 10 September 1998 (Unofficial translation)' by Germany's Federal Parliament: http://www.oecd.org/pdf/M00007000/M00007675.pdf [Source ID = 7420]

 [9/10/1998] 'Gesetz zu dem Ubereinkommen vom 17. Dezember 1997 �ber die Bek�mpfung der Bestechung ausl�ndischer Amtstr�ger im internationalen Gesch�ftsverkehr (Gesetz zur Bek�mpfung internationaler Bestechung - lntBestG)' by Germany's Federal Parliament: http://www.oecd.org/pdf/M00007000/M00007674.pdf [Source ID = 7421]

OECD [6/27/2000] 'BULGARIA REVIEW OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONVENTION AND 1997 RECOMMENDATION' by OECD: http://www.oecd.org/pdf/M00007000/M00007825.pdf [Source ID = 7423]

OECD [6/27/2000] 'BULGARIE EXAMEN DE L�APPLICATION DE LA CONVENTION ET DE LA RECOMMANDATION DE 1997' by OECD: http://www.oecd.org/pdf/M00027000/M00027864.pdf [Source ID = 7424]

OECD [9/16/2001] 'The fight against bribery and corruption' by OECD: http://www.oecd.org/pdf/M00005000/M00005915.pdf [Source ID = 7427]

Transparency International [4/6/1998] 'Checklist for Monitoring Implementation of OECD Convention' by TI Task Force on OECD Convention: http://www.transparency.ca/Readings/TI-F09.htm [Source ID = 7428]

Transparency International [3/1/2000] '' by Esteban Astarloa, Ur�a & Men�ndez,: http://www.transparency.org/working_papers/oecd/oecd_eval_spain.html [Source ID = 7435]

NBC News [7/21/2000] 'U.S. spies on corruption overseas' by Robert Windrem: http://www.msnbc.com/news/434065.asp?cp1=1 [Source ID = 7443]

Transparency International [9/30/2001] 'OECD Monitoring: Role of Civil Society and Private Sector' by Fritz Heimann: http://www.tilac.org/download/ti_usa.pdf [Source ID = 7461]

Department of Justice [1/1/2002] 'Response of the United States Questions Concerning Phase 2 (OECD Convention)' by US Department of Justice: http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/fraud/fcpa/phaseII.htm [Source ID = 7462]

OECD [1/1/2000] 'Procedure for Self- And Mutual Evaluation of Implementation of the Convention and the Revised Recommendation - Phase 2 Annex Terms of Reference for On-Site Visits' by OECD: http://www.oecd.org/pdf/M000014000/M00014117.pdf [Source ID = 7463]

Transparency International [2/4/1999] 'Working Paper: Implementation of the OECD Convention: The Conditions for Success' by Lawrence Cockcroft: http://www.transparency.org/working_papers/thematic/lc_oecd.html [Source ID = 7464]

OECD [11/25/2002] 'Self- and Mutual Evaluation: Schedule of Examination (OECD Convention)' by OECD: http://www.oecd.org/oecd/pages/home/displaygeneral/0,3380,EN-document-86-nodirectorate-no-3-7244-31,00.html#title1 [Source ID = 7466]

OECD [1/1/1998] 'Procedure for Self- And Mutual Evaluation of Implementation of the Convention and the Revised Recommendation - Phase 1' by OECD: http://www.oecd.org/pdf/M00007000/M00007222.pdf [Source ID = 7468]

OECD web site [11/25/2002] 'Bribery Convention: Procedure of Self- and Mutual Evaluation (Phase 1)' by OECD: http://www.oecd.org/oecd/pages/home/displaygeneral/0,3380,EN-document-86-nodirectorate-no-3-7218-31,00.html [Source ID = 7469]

BBC News [12/13/2002] 'Bofors man wins extradition case' by BBC News: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/2571563.stm [Source ID = 7507]

Center for Public Integrity Africa News [11/4/2002] 'Greasing the Skids of Corruption' by International Consortium of Investigative Journalists: http://www.icij.org/dtaweb/icij_bow.asp?Section=Chapter&ChapNum=4 [Source ID = 7514]

The International Herald Tribune [11/12/2002] 'Multinationals' bribery goes unpunished ; Fighting corruption' by Peter Eigen: http://www.icij.org/dtaweb/icij_bow.asp?Section=Chapter&ChapNum=4 [Source ID = 7565]

Water Power & Dam Construction [6/30/2002] 'PLANNING & PROJECTS; CRUSHING CORRUPTION' : http://www.icij.org/dtaweb/icij_bow.asp?Section=Chapter&ChapNum=4 [Source ID = 7583]

Journal of Business Ethics [6/1/2002] 'The role of the OECD and EU conventions in combating bribery of foreign public officials' by Carl Pacini and Hudson Rogers: http://www.icij.org/dtaweb/icij_bow.asp?Section=Chapter&ChapNum=4 [Source ID = 7584]

Foreign Policy [5/1/2002] ' Corruption's true face; In Other Words; book review' by Lozada, Carlos: http://www.icij.org/dtaweb/icij_bow.asp?Section=Chapter&ChapNum=4 [Source ID = 7585]

New York Law Journal [2/8/2001] 'International Corruption: Public and Private Sector Responses' by Stanley S. Arkin; Stanley S. Arkin: http://www.icij.org/dtaweb/icij_bow.asp?Section=Chapter&ChapNum=4 [Source ID = 7586]

The Observer [2/2/2003] 'Rolls-Royce accused of bribery' by Antony Barnett: http://www.observer.co.uk/politics/story/0,6903,887269,00.html [Source ID = 7614]

Securities and Exchange Commission [12/10/2002] 'SEC Obtains $500,000 Penalty Against Syncor International Corporation for Violating the Anti-Bribery Provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act' : http://www.sec.gov/litigation/litreleases/lr17887.htm [Source ID = 7624]

CaseViewer [12/10/2002] 'Syncor Taiwan, Inc. Pleads Guilty To Bribery' : http://www.caseviewer.com/page.php?LinkID=219 [Source ID = 7625]

Columbus Business First [12/31/2002] 'Cardinal acquisition expected to close soon' : http://columbus.bizjournals.com/columbus/stories/2002/12/30/daily7.html [Source ID = 7626]

Corp-Focus [4/25/2002] 'No Kidding: Anti-Bribery Law Takes a Hit' by Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman: http://lists.essential.org/pipermail/corp-focus/2002/000114.html [Source ID = 7743]

International Association of Prosecutors (web site accessed 11/03/2003) [3/11/2003] 'The United States and the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Officials in International Business Transactions' by Richard A. Rossman, Esq.: http://www.iap.nl.com/bribe.html [Source ID = 7839]

The Guardian [5/9/2003] 'Cheney firm paid millions in bribes to Nigerian official' by Oliver Burkeman in Washington: http://www.guardian.co.uk/oil/story/0,11319,952243,00.html [Source ID = 7978]

The Guardian [6/13/2003] 'African conduit guilty in Lesotho bribe trial' by David Pallister: http://www.odiousdebts.org/odiousdebts/index.cfm?DSP=content&ContentID=7657 [Source ID = 7990]

The Observer [7/20/2003] 'National Grid faces corruption inquiry' by Conal Walsh: http://observer.guardian.co.uk/business/story/0,6903,1001509,00.html?81%3A+Observer+business [Source ID = 8026]

Engineering New Record [7/26/2001] 'Bill Harbert Construction Indicted on Bid-Rigging Charges' by Mary B. Powers: http://observer.guardian.co.uk/business/story/0,6903,1001509,00.html?81%3A+Observer+business [Source ID = 6379]


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