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An OECD Enforcement Quiz

The OECD recently released its 2011 Data on Enforcement of the Anti-Bribery Convention, available here. It contains a number of fascinating, and surprising, results. To show you what I mean, see how many of the following answers you get right. (Note: the questions adopt the report’s use of the word “sanctions” to describe enforcement actions resolved against the defendant).

1.  True or false: Germany sanctioned more natural persons than the U.S.

2.  After the U.S. and Germany, which country had the highest number of total sanctions?

3.  True or false: Korea sanctioned four times as many persons (natural and legal) as the U.K.

4.  Of Australia and Italy, one sanctioned 13 persons in 2011, while the other sanctioned zero. Which is which?

5.  True or false: Bulgaria sanctioned more natural persons than the following countries COMBINED: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, and Turkey.

*     *     *


1.  True: 73 versus 58.

2.  Hungary.

3.  True: 20 versus 5.

4.  Italy 13, Australia 0.

5.  True: 1 versus 0.


Andy Spalding is the senior editor of the FCPA Blog. A former Fulbright Senior Research Scholar in Asia, he’s Assistant Professor at the University of Richmond School of Law.

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1 Comment

  1. This year's OECD enforcement report has taken a step into the messy world of negotiated settlements, by counting sanctions for what the FCPA Professor calls 'bribery-no-bribery' cases; BAE's guilty plea to criminal failure to keep accurate books & records in Tanzania, civil recovery for contracts tainted by inaccurate books & records, and so on. This puts the enforcement record of some EU countries in a more realistic and slightly better light (e.g. the UK is on 12 sanctions all in rather than 5 on just criminal convictions – still lower than Korea, though omitting other UK sanctions for a handful of overseas commercial bribery cases and further Oil-for-Food bribery cases treated as sanctions busting).

    Non-bribery sanctions are an important part of the murky world of international bribery. Without a deferred prosecution regime many EU countries opt for 'bribery-no-bribery' settlements as another way of securing sanctions without the costs and risks of trial. Companies for their part are often willing to accept a 'bribery-no-bribery' settlement to allow them to take responsibility for some other fault and move on with reduced reputational damage and without the procurement blacklisting that EU law requires for a corruption conviction.

    The OECD is taking a bold but risky step into the unknown here, as who's to say that a non-bribery sanction is really about bribery of foreign public officials? Interesting to see if the OECD starts making its own judgement, as many 'bribery-not-bribery' cases look like a useful way for governments to narrow the political repercussions of bribery scandals involving national champions. Before BAE/Saudi, the uncovering of the Elf Acquitaine network of state-sanctioned bribery ended with a few convictions for 'misuse of corporate assets'.

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