More OECD States Turn Screws On Corruption, But Monitoring Is Uneven – Study

Tom Burroughes Group Editor April 1, 2024

More OECD States Turn Screws On Corruption, But Monitoring Is Uneven – Study

The Paris-based group has noted how member countries are moving to fight bribery and corruption, but notes that while there's progress, monitoring of such efforts isn't consistent.

Major industrialized countries have stepped up strategies for stamping out corruption, but fewer than half of them (40 per cent) monitor whether planned measures are put to work, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Since 2020, many OECD member countries have developed an anti-corruption or integrity strategy for the first time, such as Costa Rica, Finland, France, Switzerland, and the US, and 71 per cent of them have a strategy in place, the report said. Data provided is taken from 38 nations.

But there are shortcomings: 76 per cent of countries do not track what jobs senior office holders take upon leaving public office, potentially exposing them to conflicts of interest. Similarly, there is a lack of data on the implementation of internal auditors' recommendations, Paris-headquartered OECD said.

Bribery and corruption remain significant compliance challenges around the world. The OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, adopted in 1997, requires each signatory country to make foreign bribery a crime. The 44 signatory countries are responsible for about two-thirds of world exports and almost 75 per cent of total foreign direct investment outflows (source: Transparency International).

The OECD released the findings last week from its Anti-Corruption and Integrity Outlook, drawing data from OECD Public Integrity Indicators. 

“OECD countries have been bolstering their anti-corruption and integrity frameworks, with regulations becoming increasingly comprehensive and sophisticated. However, countries must also improve their ability to monitor the effectiveness of policies and processes in mitigating corruption risks and upholding integrity,” the report said. 

The report said it finds implementation gaps. Notably, while regulations on conflict of interest are robust, meeting 76 per cent of OECD standard criteria, their practical implementation lags, with an average of only 40 per cent of OECD criteria on practices being met.

Source: OECD Anti-Corruption and Integrity Outlook

In late January, Transparency International, a group publishing content about bribery, corruption and enforcement of laws about these issues, issued its Corruption Perceptions Index, showing that only 28 of the 180 countries measured by this index have improved their anti-corruption levels over the last 12 years, and 34 countries have significantly worsened. 

“Despite progress made across the planet in criminalizing corruption and establishing specialized institutions to address it, corruption levels remain stagnant globally,” it said. 

Earlier in March, the OECD warned Luxembourg that “very weak enforcement” of rules to stamp out bribery “remains a matter of concern.” The group did say, however, that the European Union jurisdiction has made “significant” legislative and institutional reforms.

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