The C20 (Civil Society 20) Governance Group has issued recommendations for G20 leaders to support economic growth through transparent institutions and enforcement mechanisms that combat foreign bribery.
The Governance Group notes that many countries have foreign bribery legislation in place, but the level of enforcement is uneven.
The goal of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Anti-Bribery Convention was to make sure foreign bribery legislation and enforcement were in place in countries with over half of the world’s exports. That has not yet been achieved, the Governance Group noted.
Hampering such efforts, the Working Group said, are the following challenges to effective enforcement:
- Many G20 countries have flawed data-collection system that hinders their ability to evaluate the effectiveness of their law enforcement efforts.
- Out-of-court settlements are not always perceived as fair or credible, or a disincentive to future criminals.
- In numerous countries, sanctions are inadequate as deterrents for companies engaging in corrupt acts.
- Resources for truly effective investigation and prosecution are often lacking.
The reason countries should care about the effectiveness of their foreign bribery enforcement is because “corruption distorts markets, undercuts business and undermines a level playing field,” the Governance Group said.
The C20 recommends that G20 members improve their statistical collection of foreign bribery enforcement information and that they make that information, as well as settlement details, transparent.
Settlement should also be subject to court approval, and sentences should be analyzed to make sure they are “effective, proportionate and dissuasive.”
The C20 Governance Group’s Proposal for the G20 leaders on 2015-16 priorities can be found here.
Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of FCPA Blog and can be reached here.