OECD Foreign Bribery Report: An Analysis of the Crime of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials

The OECD Foreign Bribery Report brings us, for the first time, face to face with our foe. This report endeavours to measure, and to describe, transnational corruption based on data from the 427 foreign bribery cases that have been concluded since the entry into force of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention in 1999. We have learned that bribes are being paid across sectors to officials from countries at all stages of economic development.

Corporate leadership is involved, or at least aware, of the practice of foreign bribery in most cases, rebutting perceptions of bribery as the act of rogue employees. Intermediaries, both agents and corporate vehicles, are used in most corrupt transactions while the majority of bribes are paid to obtain public procurement contracts.

With bribes averaging 10.9% of the total transaction value, and combined monetary sanctions ranging from 100 to 200% of the proceeds of the corrupt transaction in 41% of cases, the business case against corruption is clear. 

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