The OECD Anti-Bribery Treaty

Although bribery is an unacceptable practice, it was a “standard operating procedure at many multinational corporations”, a “necessary evil” in terms of form of practice, and an “integral part of international business culture” . This shows that the power of bribery is that it enables transactions and keeps businesses going. It was found that many international companies bribe foreign officials in order to ensure smooth transactions and to allow certain factors to give the company a sense of advantage.

As Corr and Lawler mentioned, a driving force behind such acts was the heavy global competition . As a significant portion of international companies in the world are located in developed nations, anti-bribery measures therefore initially focused on the practices of these firms. Moreover, this was also significantly found in transactions between these corporations and foreign markets located in developing or less developed nations.

Apparently, through bribes, foreign contracts would push through which is why despite there are the supposed anti-bribery and anti-corruption initiatives found across many countries, bribery would remain a common practice in such circles. In response and in wider international scope, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) created grounds for the initiation of a convention in 1997 that would address these problems.

Through the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (or the OECD Convention), the international organisation addressed anti-bribery and anti-corruption measures by providing platform of commitment for participating nations. This was modelled after the efforts in the United States, the country which, for several years, have managed to maintain a high profile in terms of its fight against corruption and bribery.

Although the Convention has been enforced among and participated by 38 countries, the report of the group Transparency International showed that although the convention and the commitment was enforced, there were the varying degrees of enforcement and practice among these 38 parties . Hence, it can be said that the Convention aimed to address corruption by putting an end to bribery, it shows that the problem has to go deeper and tackle this component of international business culture.