Examination of OECD Anti-Bribery Treaty

The OECD is made up of 30 member states: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States. In addition to these 30 OECD member states, the signatories of the Convention also include Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Estonia, Israel, Slovenia and South Africa.

It can be observed from the signatory states that most of them belong to the European and North American region; members from Africa, Asia and South America are nations that are considered already developed (i. e. Japan) and/or significantly developing. 4. 2 Criminalisation Principle Given the limitations of the OECD in terms of the strengths of its enforcement of the Convention per country, the organisation found the means to at least effectively implement the treaty by means of highlighting the criminal liability endorsed by the agreement.

The criminalisation principle applied in this case is by means of enumerating the standards that define what makes bribery a criminal act. First, the Convention focused on defining anti-bribery in the context of international business transactions involving foreign officials; hence, the Convention prevents acts and behaviour demonstrating corrupt transactions within the bounds of what is defined as bribery, in addition to the definition of officials involved in such transactions.

Second, the Convention establishes bribery as a criminal act and an offence that can indicate money laundering. Third, the Convention defines the sanctions towards natural and legal persons that would be involved in the act, in addition to the definition of the jurisdictions covered. Fourth, the Convention endorses that political and economic conditions should not be allowed when it comes to investigating bribery cases. Fifth, the Convention encourages the inception of legal assistance and extradition that concerns these issues .

All these factors are the requirements of the OECD from its signatories thereby solidifying the foundation of the criminalisation of bribery in this specific platform. 4. 2. 1The Effect on International Business With the implementation of the OECD Convention, its impact on businesses have been significant. Because of the criminalisation of bribery, those coming from the signatory states may be subject to persecution, from the foreign officials to the companies and its officers.

The Convention has therefore “changed the rules of the game” ; this is to say unlike the previous decades of merely accepting corruption and bribery as a part of the international business landscape, the Convention has further exposed those who resort to corrupt acts. To date, there have been numerous investigations on bribery instances both at the political and business front, with sanctions typically penalising and fining the parties involved.

As a result, international businesses are now faced with a more transparent system that takes away the complexity of the bureaucracy in government systems, thereby further encouraging a more efficient way to conduct transactions. Since that the Convention promotes better improvements in how international businesses secure, international businesses have also started to comply and make their respective contributions in the prevention of corrupt acts, both at the political and business ends .

This can be seen in the contributions to best practices that come from businesses, industries and other associations as a means to eradicate malpractice and fraud. 4. 2. 2 The Effect on Developing Countries Developing countries are affected by corrupt practices and bribery especially as these reflect badly on their approach to governance. Because of this, there are developing nations that fall under lists of corrupt countries, such as those compiled by Forbes .

In addition, the economic costs of bribery in these nations are significant especially as these raises prices which the consumers will be burdened with; this is a means for the company to offset the costs of having to bribe in that particular market. Developing nations are also noted to fall victim in these corrupt practices due to their transitional nature; this is why it was noted that officials in developing nations feel that the new commercial opportunities they are experiencing give them the venues to make money in the developing economy .

Hence, the Convention can be regarded to have raised greater awareness among these developing nations, especially as these corrupt practices would also become detrimental to their economy’s development. Because of this, governments of these nations, as notably the signatories of the treaty, have upped their anti-corruption measures. However, as to be explained in the next sections, not all developing nations have been effective in enforcing the Convention.