Countries’ implementation and enforcement of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention is monitored by the OECD Working Group on Bribery through a rigorous peer-review monitoring system. The Parties to the Convention are subject to review by their peers, with experts from different Working Group on Bribery countries serving as examiners of each evaluated country. Transparency International has identified this monitoring mechanism as the “gold standard” of monitoring.
The monitoring process is subject to specific agreed-upon evaluation procedures. The monitoring process is compulsory for all Parties and includes meetings with non-government actors. The evaluated country has no right to veto the final report and recommendations, and all evaluation reports are made public on the OECD website.
Monitoring reports by country
Country monitoring takes place in several phases:
- Phase 1 evaluates the adequacy of a country’s legal framework to fight foreign bribery and implement the Convention.
- Phase 2 assesses whether a country is applying this legislation in practice.
- Phase 3 focuses on enforcement and cross-cutting issues, and unimplemented recommendations from Phase 2.
- Phase 4 focuses on enforcement and cross-cutting issues tailored to specific country needs, and unimplemented recommendations from Phase 3.
Following the adoption of the evaluation report, the OECD Working Group on Bribery monitors the evaluated country’s efforts to implement the Working Group’s recommendations. In the event that the country has failed to take action to effectively implement these recommendations, the OECD Working Group on Bribery can employ additional measures to address an evaluated country’s inadequate implementation or continued failure to implement the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.
Inadequate implementation of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention
In cases where a country has inadequately implemented or continuously failed to adequately implement the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, further steps might be considered, such as:
- Bis" evaluations: When a country has not adequately implemented the Convention, or has not arranged a satisfactory on-site visit for the initial evaluations, the Working Group could decide to conduct a repeat evaluation, which is usually known as a "bis evaluation.
- Additional reporting by the evaluated country on expedited basis: Requiring the evaluated country to provide regular reports on an expedited basis of its progress in implementing the Convention and the 2021 Anti-Bribery Recommendation. The evaluated country could thus be asked to report to each meeting of the Working Group on its progress and it would be expected to be significantly in compliance within a fixed timeframe. The reports could be accompanied by a brief analysis of the progress that has been made, which could be prepared by the Secretariat and, following approval by the Group, published online.
- Forming a monitoring sub-groups: A group of Working Group members, selected by the plenary, could in conjunction with the Secretariat be given responsibility for reviewing any progress, including holding face to face meetings with the country, and making recommendations to the Working Group on the next steps to be taken.
- Sending a letter to the relevant Minister (s) of the evaluated country: A letter could be sent from the Chair of the Working Group to the relevant Minister(s) in the evaluated country to draw their attention to the failure to implement adequately the Convention and the 2021 Anti-Bribery Recommendation.
- Organising a technical mission to the evaluated country: A technical mission could be arranged to the evaluated country to discuss concerns with its implementation and enforcement of the Convention and relevant recommendations.
- Organising a high-level mission to the evaluated country: A high-level mission (comprised of the Chair of the Working Group, the Head of the Anti-Corruption Division, several Heads of Delegation of Working Group members) could be arranged to the evaluated country to reinforce this message. The mission would meet with Ministers and senior officials.
- Issuing a formal public statement on OECD website: Issuing a formal public statement that a participating country is insufficiently in compliance with the Convention and the 2021 Anti-Bribery Recommendation, and requesting expeditious implementation of the Convention.
- Requiring an Action Plan: The Working Group could invite an evaluated country to develop a plan of proposed measures to address specific deficiencies identified by the Working Group in implementing the Convention.
- Issuing a due diligence warning: The Working Group could issue a public statement highlighting that an evaluated country’s inadequate implementation of the Convention may justify the application of enhanced due diligence over companies from that country.
- Requesting diplomatic engagement: The Working Group could invite the evaluated country to arrange for its ambassador or other diplomatic representative to attend an upcoming plenary in order to discuss the Working Group’s concerns as well as potential solutions for implementing the Convention in light of the political circumstances in the evaluated country.
- Publicising any high-priority unimplemented recommendation(s): The Working Group can label any significant or long-standing unimplemented recommendation made to the evaluated country as a “high-priority unimplemented recommendation”. Any recommendation so labelled will be publicised on the OECD website.
- Suspension of evaluated country’s advancement to the next monitoring phase: The Working Group can decide to suspend the evaluated country’s advancement to the next phase of monitoring. The Working Group will review the suspension decision every two years or earlier upon a request from any Working Group member. If an evaluated country is suspended, it will be identified as a “non-complying” Working Group member.