This report assesses the efforts made by OECD members to curb bribery practices and global corruption.
This is the seventh annual Progress Report on Enforcement of the OECD Convention prepared by Transparency International (TI), the global coalition against corruption. The OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Offi cials in International Business Transactions, adopted in 1997, requires each State Party to make foreign bribery a crime. The Convention has 38 parties and is overseen by the OECD Working Group on Bribery. The Working Group conducts a follow-up monitoring process under which representatives of two governments and the Secretariat visit each member country and assess its compliance with the Convention’s provisions. The monitoring process is now in its third phase, which focuses primarily on enforcement and on the steps which countries have taken to follow up on recommendations in prior reviews.
The OECD Convention is a key instrument for combating global corruption because the parties are involved in two-thirds of international trade and three-quarters of international investment. The Working Group’s monitoring process has been conducted in a rigorous and highly professional manner, which provides a model for other treaties. Follow-up monitoring is important to make sure that governments comply with their treaty commitments.
TI’s annual progress reports represent an independent assessment of the status of OECD Convention enforcement. The reports have shown steady progress in the decade since the Convention went into effect. There is now active enforcement in seven countries, which represent 30 per cent of world exports, and moderate enforcement in nine countries, which represent 20 per cent of world exports. However, there is little or no enforcement in 21 countries, which represent 15 per cent of world exports. There has been no change in these numbers in the past year. This trend raises concern about whether the Convention is losing forward momentum. Continued lack of enforcement in 21 countries a decade after the Convention entered into force, notwithstanding repeated OECD reviews, clearly indicates lack of political commitment by their governments. And in some of those with moderate enforcement, the level of commitment is also uncertain. This is a danger signal because the OECD Convention depends on the collective commitment of all parties to ending foreign bribery.