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In October The OECD Working Group on Bribery completed its report on New Zealand's implementation of the Convention of Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions and related instruments. TI released Exporting corruption: Progress report 2013: assessing enforcement of the OECD Convention on combating bribery.
According to this report New Zealand must significantly increase its efforts to detect, investigate and prosecute foreign bribery. Since joining the Convention over 12 years ago, New Zealand has not prosecuted any cases of foreign bribery and only four allegations have surfaced to date. Outdated perceptions that New Zealand individuals and companies do not bribe may have also undermined detection efforts.
Recommendations made by the Group to improve New Zealand's fight against foreign bribery, include:
Follow this link to the press release and a link to the report.
The report placed New Zealand in the category of having "Little or No Enforcement" of the OECD's Anti-Bribery Convention, which requires each signatory country to make the bribery of foreign public officials a crime.
The Report's key recommendations for New Zealand are to:
The Convention is a collective agreement among major exporting countries which aims to crack down on the practice of bribing foreign officials - behaviour often undertaken in order to win contracts or dodge local regulations. The 40 signatory countries to the OECD Convention are responsible for approximately two-thirds of world exports. As such, the Convention is a key instrument for curbing the practice of foreign bribery on a global scale.
Exporting Corruption Progress Report 2013: Assessing Enforcement of the OECD Convention on Combating Foreign Bribery evaluates the strength of government measures taken to enforce the Convention. The Convention is a collective agreement among major exporting countries which aims to crack down on the practice of bribing foreign officials - behaviour often undertaken in order to win contracts or dodge local regulations.
Our experience is that a great many assumptions have been made that New Zealand is, and always will be, uninvolved and untainted by corruption. Sadly, that is not the reality. For example, since the Report was prepared, the SFO now has two foreign-based bribery/corruption investigations underway.