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OECD Data: Anti-Bribery Enforcement Slowly Rising

Jaclyn Jaeger | June 20, 2013

Anti-bribery enforcement around the globe is rising, albeit slowly, according to new data by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

As of December 2012, 14 of the signatory countries have sanctioned 221 individuals and 90 entities under criminal proceedings for foreign bribery. These figures mark only a slight rise from the 210 individuals and 90 entities that were sanctioned for foreign bribery as of December 2011 in last year's report.

The number of individuals who have faced prison time, however, has increased. Based on the voluntary data provided, out of the 221 individuals sanctioned, at least 83 have been sentenced to prison terms in seven signatory countries. In comparison, 66 sanctioned individuals were sentenced to prison for foreign bribery as of December 2011, based on last year's report. 

The OECD report details what efforts have been made by member countries of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention to eradicate foreign bribery. Specifically, it details the number of investigations, cases brought, and sanctions imposed among the 40 signatory countries that are party to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention since it entered into force in 1999.  

Data has been divided into two categories: information provided by parties on a mandatory basis and information provided on a voluntary basis. The mandatory data consists of the number of criminal, administrative and civil cases of foreign bribery that have resulted in a criminal conviction or acquittal, or similar findings under an administrative or civil procedure.

The voluntary data includes data on investigations; criminal, administrative and civil proceedings; and sanctions. It also includes data on concluded criminal, administrative and civil proceedings for other offenses related to foreign bribery, such as accounting and money laundering.

In five signatory countries, at least 85 individuals and 120 entities have been sanctioned in criminal, administrative and civil cases for other offenses related to foreign bribery—such as money laundering or accounting.

According to the data submitted, there are over 160 ongoing criminal proceedings (against 148 individuals and 18 entities) in five signatory countries. Seven have reported no ongoing criminal proceedings, and the remaining 18 remaining have not provided information.

Additionally, there are over 320 ongoing investigations among 24 signatory countries. Only five have reported no ongoing criminal proceedings, and the remaining 11 have not provided information.

The Working Group on Bribery will continue to update this enforcement data regularly.