OECD Steps Up to Fight Bribery

March 4, 2010 International Tax Cooperation

National Flags of Member StatesThe Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has announced that from March 2010 it will begin to monitor its member states’ implementation of the newly established Good Practice Guidance on Internal Controls, Ethics and Compliance, the most comprehensive international business anti-bribery guidelines ever released by the organization.

On March 3rd the OECD announced that the 38 member-nations of the OECD’s Anti-Bribery Convention will begin to monitor the progress of participating jurisdictions in encouraging international businesses to adapt the anti-bribery measures. The newly released Good Practice Guidelines calls on businesses to implement clear and visible anti-bribery policies, and strict controls from corporate senior level staff. Further, the guidelines encourage organizations to instill an entity-wide sense of responsibility for compliance, along with regular employee training in anti-bribery measures, and the creation of disciplinary penalty measures in the case of occurrence. Also, it was recommended that international large businesses implement programs of assistance to small and medium sized enterprises in learning to protect themselves from bribery.

To complement the new set of guidelines, the OECD has initiated its foreign bribery global awareness campaign. According to the OECD, each year millions of dollars are wasted on bribes paid to various government officials, which results in serious detriments to public infrastructure and goods. Commenting on the resolution Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General, said: “Too few companies are aware of how damaging foreign bribery is to their business, their industry and the world economy. Bribery distorts everyone’s ability to compete in a global market.”

Currently, OECD Anti-Bribery Convention member states include all 30 OECD jurisdictions, along with Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Estonia, Israel, Slovenia and South Africa.

Photo by United Nations Photo