OECD Working Group on Bribery conducts first evaluation of Russia's implementation and enforcement of Anti-Bribery Convention

March 20th, 2012

The OECD Working Group on Bribery has just adopted its first evaluation report of Russia’s implementation and enforcement of the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (OECD Anti-Bribery Convention).

The Working Group on Bribery notes that some concerns remain in Russia’s legislation for fighting foreign bribery that will need to be further reviewed during Phase 2. To address these concerns, the Working Group recommends, in particular, that Russia:

  • ·         Explicitly and clearly ensures the criminalisation of ‘offer’ and ‘promise’ of a bribe as completed offences (Article 1 of the Anti-Bribery Convention requires Parties to criminalise not only the giving of a bribe to a foreign public official, but to also make it a crime to offer or promise a bribe);
  • ·         Ensure that third-party beneficiaries are covered by the Russian foreign bribery offence for legal persons (Article 1 also requires Parties to make it illegal to offer, promise or give a bribe to a foreign public official, either directly or through intermediaries, for that official or for a  third party);
  • ·         Ensure measures are available for the identification, seizure and confiscation of the bribe from natural and legal persons, the proceeds of the bribe or their equivalent value; and
  • ·         Explicitly disallow the tax deductibility of bribes to foreign public officials, among other recommendations.

The full report can be found online here.

Under the Anti-Bribery Convention, Parties are required to undergo 3 phases of peer-reviews: Phase 1  evaluates the adequacy of a country’s legislation to implement the Convention. Phase 2 assesses whether a country is applying this legislation effectively. Phase 3focuses on enforcement of the Convention, the 2009 Anti-Bribery Recommendation, and outstanding recommendations from Phase 2. All Working Group on Bribery evaluation reports are made publicly available online.

Russia deposited its instrument of accession to the Anti-Bribery Convention on 17 February and will be a full Party to the Convention on 17 April 2012. (See press release for more information.)

The OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, which entered into force in 1999, outlaws the bribery of foreign public officials in international business transactions. Through country monitoring and extensive peer-led follow-up, the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention seeks to ensure that the fight against foreign bribery is effective, thus creating a level playing field for fair competition. Since the Convention came into force, 199 individuals and 91 companies have been sanctioned for foreign bribery offenses.

This link takes you to more information about the OECD’s work on bribery with Russia

Written by EJ Fagan

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