Joining the Convention

Financial, Fiscal and Enterprise Affairs Directorate (DAF)

Non-OECD countries that wish to join the OECD Convention and the Working Group may apply for accession. As mentioned in the Convention (Art.13) and the related Commentaries, the Convention is open to non-members that become full participants in the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions in accordance with clearly defined procedures.

As the depository of the Convention, the OECD decides, via its Council, whether to invite a non-member to become a full participant, or an observer, in the Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions. Governments interested in associating themselves with the OECD anti-corruption effort must be willing and able to fulfil all obligations and commitments inherent in joining the Working Group and in acceding to the Convention. Full information is available on request, including the conditions for joining the Convention and on other OECD initiatives to fight against corruption and promote high ethical standards and good governance.

To join, a country will undergo a thorough assessment of its economic situation and its institutional and legal framework. Any other relevant factors will also be taken into account. If the assessment process results in a positive evaluation, the applicant country will be invited to become associated with the work of the Working Group as an observer for a probationary period. Subsequently, and depending on the country’s progress in implementing anti-corruption provisions and on its record of attendance at Working Group meetings, the country may be invited to become a full participant in the Working Group and accede to the Convention.

Countries which do not join the Convention may still wish to co-operate in the struggle against corruption. This opens opportunities to organise additional regional events and other sorts of dialogue, for instance, in association with the Centre for Co-operation with Non-Members (CCNM). The scope of the information-sharing process may also be expanded through new or extended anti-corruption networks. The collaboration with different bodies active in the field could also be intensified. Other possible initiatives might include the development of an “Anti-Corruption” Declaration which would signal a country’s adherence to the OECD anti-corruption principles and be a gesture which can reinforce national anti-corruption programmes.

An informal information meeting, aimed at non-member countries that have demonstrated an interest in the Convention and the work of the Working Group, will be held in June 2000. The meeting will inform participants of the key elements of the Convention and other OECD anti-corruption activities, as well as providing an opportunity to explore possible new initiatives.

©OECD Observer No 220, April 2000 

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