There are 41 signatories countries to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD’s) Anti-Bribery Convention. Under the Convention, these 41 countries have agreed to make foreign bribery a crime for which individuals and enterprises are responsible.

For the past decade, Transparency International has issued an annual report offering its independent assessment on the status of enforcement in all of the 41 parties to the Convention. In its 11th annual OECD progress report published last week, TI found, among other things, that there is "Active Enforcement" in only four countries and "Little or No Enforcement" in 20 countries.

According to TI, Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States are the only four countries engaged in active enforcement, i.e., "actively investigating and prosecuting companies that bribe foreign officials to get or inflate contracts, or obtain licences and concessions.of the Convention."  These countries, which have 22.8 per cent of world exports, have completed 215 cases and started 59 new cases from 2011-2014.

TI found that with respect to the remaining 35 signatories it analyzed (Iceland and Latvia were not classified by TI), enforcement broke down as follows:

Moderate Enforcement: Six countries with 8.9 per cent of world exports (Italy, Canada, Australia, Austria, Norway and Finland).

Limited Enforcement: Nine countries with 12.6 per cent of world exports (France, Netherlands, South Korea, Sweden, Hungary, South Africa, Portugal, Greece and New Zealand).

Little or No Enforcement: Twenty countries with 20.5 per cent of world exports: (Japan, Russia, Spain, Belgium, Mexico, Brazil, Ireland, Poland, Turkey, Denmark, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Argentina, Chile, Israel, Slovak Republic, Colombia, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Estonia).

TI stated that since its last report in 2014, only four countries improved their classifications (Greece, Netherlands, Norway and South Korea) and only one country regressed (Argentina). All of the other countries' classifications remained unchanged.