The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has issued new data on what efforts have been made by member countries of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention to eradicate foreign bribery.

The OECD report details the number of investigations, cases brought and sanctions imposed among the 38 countries that are party to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention since it entered into force in 1999. As of December 2011, 14 of the signatory countries have sanctioned 210 individuals and 90 entities under criminal proceedings for foreign bribery. Of those signatory countries, seven have sanctioned both companies and individuals; one has sanctioned only a company; and six have sanctioned only individuals.

In addition, at least 66 of the sanctioned individuals were sentenced to prison for foreign bribery. Five signatory countries have also sanctioned individuals or legal persons for accounting misconduct related to foreign bribery.

For the first time this year, the Working Group's enforcement data includes information provided on a voluntary basis by certain countries regarding sanctions in criminal, administrative and civil cases for other offenses related to foreign bribery, such as money laundering and accounting. Examples include books and records violations, failure to implement internal controls, misuse of company assets, and breach of trust based on a failure to supervise.

The Working Group has chosen to include this new information in this year's annual report in order to reflect efforts by signatory countries to fight the crime of foreign bribery with as wide an array of legal means as possible, the OECD stated. The data revealed that four signatory countries sanctioned at least 43 individuals and 92 entities in criminal, administrative and civil cases for such offenses.  

Additional global enforcement data provided by the signatory countries on a voluntary basis include the number of ongoing investigations, ongoing criminal proceedings, and exclusions or limitations on access to public procurement contracts or benefits.

According to the data submitted, over 300 investigations are ongoing among 26 signatory countries. Thirteen signatory countries have brought 171 criminal charges against 158 individuals and 13 entities. Only nine have reported no ongoing criminal proceedings, and the remaining 18 have not provided information.

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