The OECD Anti-Bribery Convention

What is it about?
The 1997 Anti-Bribery Convention was the first global instrument to fight corruption in cross-border business deals. It has since been ratified by all 30 OECD countries and six non-members. National governments and businesses have used the Convention to improve their own legislation and raise standards.
In short, bribing a foreign public official is now a crime and a punishable offence in all signatory countries. This is in itself a step forward from two decades ago when bribes could be written off tax as a business expense. Much bribery came from exporting countries, and targeting this “supply side” of the deal has distinguished the OECD Convention from other multilateral anti-bribery instruments, in the UN for instance.Beyond legal requirements, the Anti-Bribery Convention ensures effective enforcement through systematic monitoring. A special government-mandated group of experts, called the Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions, surveys countries’ efforts to implement the Convention’s standards and monitor compliance. This working group meets four times a year.There are two rigorous examination phases: Phase 1, which assesses the conformity of the country’s anti-bribery laws with the Convention; Phase 2, which involves intensive meetings in the examined country with key players from government, business, trade unions and civil society, the aim being to build a clear picture of how effective that country’s anti-foreign bribery laws actually are. A supplementary phase, Phase 2bis arises if the working group decides further investigation is needed following queries that have been unsatisfactorily dealt with in Phase 2. This situation applies so far in the case of Ireland, Japan, and the UK, with Luxembourg to follow.Phase 1 was completed in 2006, while 30 countries, including all of the G7, have completed Phase 2, with the remainder to be completed by 2008. The in-depth country reports are published at .References
  • OECD (2007, forthcoming), Implementing the OECD Anti-bribery Convention: Annual Report 2006, Paris.
  • For more on OECD work on corruption, see OECD Fights Corruption, available at
  • For information on the review process, see “OECD Anti-Bribery Convention: Phase 2 Monitoring Information Resources”, at
ChecklistThe five main instruments:1. 1996 Recommendation of the Council on the Tax Deductibility of Bribes to Foreign Public Officials;2. 1997 Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions;3. 1997 Revised Recommendation of the Council on Combating Bribery in International Business Transactions (entry into force of OECD Anti-Bribery Convention: 15 February 1999);4. OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises; 5. 2003 Action Statement on Bribery and Officially Supported Export Credits.Number of signatory countries: 36.Most recent Party to the Convention: Estonia.Most recent Full Participant to the Working Group on Bribery: Estonia (2004).Six non-OECD countries are Parties to the Convention: Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Estonia, Chile and Slovenia.State of play: 30 countries have completed their Phase 2 review, including all G7 countries.Phase 2 schedule 2007: Slovenia, Chile, Turkey, Brazil. 2008: Argentina, Estonia.
 OECD Observer N° 260, March 2007 

Economic data

GDP growth: +0.6% Q1 2019 year-on-year
Consumer price inflation: 2.3% May 2019 annual
Trade: +0.4% exp, -1.2% imp, Q1 2019
Unemployment: 5.2% July 2019
Last update: 8 July 2019

OECD Observer Newsletter

Stay up-to-date with the latest news from the OECD by signing up for our e-newsletter :

Twitter feed

Subscribe now

<b>Subscribe now!</b>

To order your own paper editions,email

Online edition
Previous editions

Don't miss

  • MCM logo
  • The following communiqué and Chair’s statement were issued at the close of the OECD Council Meeting at Ministerial level, this year presided by the Slovak Republic.
  • Food production will suffer some of the most immediate and brutal effects of climate change, with some regions of the world suffering far more than others. Only through unhindered global trade can we ensure that high-quality, nutritious food reaches those who need it most, Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD, and José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, write in their latest Project Syndicate article. Read the article here.
  • Globalisation will continue and get stronger, and how to harness it is the great challenge, says OECD Secretary-General Gurría on Bloomberg TV. Watch the interview here.
  • OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría with UN Secretary-General António Guterres at the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly, in New York City.
  • The new OECD Observer Crossword, with Myles Mellor. Try it online!
  • Listen to the "Robots are coming for our jobs" episode of The Guardian's "Chips with Everything podcast", in which The Guardian’s economics editor, Larry Elliott, and Jeremy Wyatt, a professor of robotics and artificial intelligence at the University of Birmingham, and Jordan Erica Webber, freelance journalist, discuss the findings of the new OECD report "Automation, skills use and training". Listen here.
  • Do we really know the difference between right and wrong? Alison Taylor of BSR and Susan Hawley of Corruption Watch tell us why it matters to play by the rules. Watch the recording of our Facebook live interview here.
  • Has public decision-making been hijacked by a privileged few? Watch the recording of our Facebook live interview with Stav Shaffir, MK (Zionist Union) Chair of the Knesset Committee on Transparency here.
  • Can a nudge help us make more ethical decisions? Watch the recording of our Facebook live interview with Saugatto Datta, managing director at ideas42 here.
  • The fight against tax evasion is gaining further momentum as Barbados, Côte d’Ivoire, Jamaica, Malaysia, Panama and Tunisia signed the BEPS Multilateral Convention on 24 January, bringing the total number of signatories to 78. The Convention strengthens existing tax treaties and reduces opportunities for tax avoidance by multinational enterprises.
  • Globalisation’s many benefits have been unequally shared, and public policy has struggled to keep up with a rapidly-shifting world. The OECD is working alongside governments and international organisations to help improve and harness the gains while tackling the root causes of inequality, and ensuring a level playing field globally. Please watch.
  • Checking out the job situation with the OECD scoreboard of labour market performances: do you want to know how your country compares with neighbours and competitors on income levels or employment?
  • Trade is an important point of focus in today’s international economy. This video presents facts and statistics from OECD’s most recent publications on this topic.
  • The OECD Gender Initiative examines existing barriers to gender equality in education, employment, and entrepreneurship. The gender portal monitors the progress made by governments to promote gender equality in both OECD and non-OECD countries and provides good practices based on analytical tools and reliable data.
  • Interested in a career in Paris at the OECD? The OECD is a major international organisation, with a mission to build better policies for better lives. With our hub based in one of the world's global cities and offices across continents, find out more at .
  • Visit the OECD Gender Data Portal. Selected indicators shedding light on gender inequalities in education, employment and entrepreneurship.

Most Popular Articles

OECD Insights Blog

NOTE: All signed articles in the OECD Observer express the opinions of the authors
and do not necessarily represent the official views of OECD member countries.

All rights reserved. OECD 2019