The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

The United States implemented the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in 1977 following the years of the Watergate scandal and the increasing public unrest that would lead to ‘cynicism’ in America . What would further the establish the presence of bribery — especially bribery among foreign officials — in the Watergate scandal was when the Securities and Exchange Commission stepped into the investigation.

This would then identify how bribery in the political context was seen to be taking place especially as American companies where found to have bribed foreign high officials in order to ensure business and secure contracts in the foreign markets. The FCPA’s main focus is by means of transparency in the accounting and auditing of the corporations; through these internal practices, anti-corruption measures were then seen to be effective through enforcement of practices that will prevent it from happening.

Through this transparency framework, the FCPA has therefore created channels that prevent the falsification of records, the creation of ‘slush funds’ and fudging information to auditors. With the recording and auditing measures established by the FCPA, the law has then founded means to identify potential criminal acts indicating signs of bribery, especially abroad. 3. 3 The OECD Anti-Bribery Convention

The Convention, which was implemented in 1997, took root from its anti-bribery agenda from as early as 1989. From this, the OECD formed a Working Group comprised of experts in tackling bribery, especially in the transnational context; by 1994, the OECD adopted the first initiative from the Working Group called Recommendation on Combating Bribery in International Business Transactions, with a revision that followed in 1997 .

The OECD and the Working Group identified grounds where bribery and corruption are bound to take place, and among these are the provisions for tax deductibility; in 1996, the OECD urged nations to deny this form of tax deductions. Along with the components of the recommendations, the initiative would also give way to the criminalisation of bribery and seeked assistance through the Development Assistance Committee that would curb corruption through venues of aid-funded procurement .

The year 1997 would mark the OECD Convention, from that year forward, the OECD continued to seek venues for greater anti-bribery measures and co-operation. The OECD continued to identify possible venues of bribery and corruption such as in export credits; the OECD then directed attention to this matter in 2000 through the OECD Export Credit Action Statement which was adopted and reinforced in 2006. The OECD also seeked the participation of the business sector through the Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises .

The treaty and the Convention would then give way to a set of agreements as enumerated in the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions; these agreements take in the form of the following article headings : ? The identification and definition of the offence of bribery among foreign public officials. ? Responsibility of legal parties ? Sanctions ? Jurisdictions ? Enforcement ? Extradition ? Monitoring and Follow Up

The treaty and the convention aim to establish among the nations concerned the critical realities and conditions of bribery and how this can create a significant effect in the overall international economic sphere. Participating nations thereby contribute to the Working Group and in the ramification processes following the implementation of the Convention. The OECD, on one hand, acts as the depository of the Convention and at the same time, the organisation takes an active role in the monitoring of the commitments of the participating parties.