UK Anti-Bribery Efforts Draw Qualified Praise from OECD

5 April 2012
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Key takeaways:

  • The Bribery Act and increased prosecution of foreign bribery have earned the UK qualified approval from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (the "OECD"), the main international body monitoring countries’ anti-corruption laws. But UK prosecutors have been criticised for what is portrayed as an emerging practice of settling foreign bribery cases behind closed doors.
  • The OECD's Working Group on bribery commended the UK for its significant increase in foreign bribery enforcement and for the entry into force of the Bribery Act and the Ministry of Justice's publication of Guidance for Commercial Organisations. It also congratulated the UK government for its substantial efforts to raise awareness of the Bribery Act.
  • But it was critical of UK authorities' use of confidentiality when reaching civil settlements with companies accused of foreign bribery, and when providing companies with advice about their transactions and procedures. It also called for clarification of what is acceptable corporate hospitality.