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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2001 > June
Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
June 29, 2001

State Department Releases Annual Report on Bribery

Today the State Department released Battling International Bribery 2001, its third annual report to Congress reviewing implementation and enforcement of the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

This report analyses the implementing legislation of seven of the countries that have ratified the Convention since our 2000 report and updates the information on 21 other Parties to the Convention. The report also provides updated information on enforcement of the Convention, measures taken by the signatories to end the tax deductibility of bribes, areas where the Convention might be strengthened, and efforts at encouraging additional non-OECD key exporting states to join the Convention.

Our review of the legislation of the 27 foreign countries in this report indicates that most Parties have taken effective steps to make bribery of foreign public officials illegal under their domestic law. We believe, however, that the laws of some countries fall short of the Convention's requirements. We are also disturbed by continuing reports of alleged bribery of foreign public officials by firms based in countries for which the Convention is in force. We will continue both bilaterally and in the OECD to urge these countries to remedy these legislative and enforcement deficiencies. All signatories have an interest in ensuring that all Parties vigorously implement and enforce the Convention.

The OECD Convention represents a key element in the Administrationís wider campaign to combat corruption and promote fair competition. The United States initiated and hosted the first of a series of Global Forums on Fighting Corruption. The first was held in Washington, D.C. in February 1999, and the Second Global Forum, held in the Netherlands in May 2001, was co-sponsored by the United States. These meetings have placed a strong emphasis on combating corruption in the public service. In our own hemisphere, the United States and over 20 other nations have ratified the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption, which was negotiated under the auspices of the Organization of American States in 1996.

Another important part of this strategy is to reach out to American companies and business associations to make them better aware of the international anticorruption environment. In May 2001, the Department of State, in cooperation with the Commerce and Justice Departments, published a new edition of our brochure titled Fighting Global corruption: Business Risk Management. This booklet contains information about the benefits of strong corporate antibribery policies and gives guidance to businesses on the requirements of U.S. law and the OECD Convention.

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell summed up U.S. objectives in his foreword to the brochure:

Since the enactment of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977,
the United States has provided indispensable leadership so that
business enterprise can compete fairly in the global economy.
Today, rule of law and anticorruption initiatives are key foreign
policy elements that promote integrity and confidence in both
government institutions and in the global marketplace.

The Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials was adopted in December 1997, and has been signed by the United States, the 29 other members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) plus four additional countries - Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, and Chile. As of June 29, 2001, only one signatory -- Ireland -- had not deposited its instrument of ratification with the OECD, and only four -- Ireland, Brazil, Chile and Turkey -- had not yet enacted implementing legislation.

Released on June 29, 2001

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