Colombia has been invited to join the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) Working Group on Bribery, a precursor to signing the organization’s Anti-Bribery Convention.
OECD Deputy Secretary-General Richard Boucher was in Bogota on Tuesday where he signed an exchange of letters with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.
Colombia will now undergo the domestic legislative processes for ratification of and accession to the OECD Convention. It must undergo a rigorous examination of its anti-corruption legislation, to ensure that it respects the organization’s norms and that they are actually enforced in the country.
OECD vice secretary general Richard Boucher welcomed the moved, saying, “As it steps up its investment abroad, it’s important that Colombia has clearly made anti-corruption a top priority.
“We are confident that Colombia’s accession to the Anti-Bribery Convention will not only strengthen its ability to fight corruption but it will also strengthen OECD efforts to stamp out bribery and create a level-playing field,” said Boucher.
The convention, which came into force in 1999, outlaws the bribery of foreign public officials in international business transactions. The aim is to create a “level playing field for fair competition.”
The OECD has no authority to implement the convention, but instead monitors how strictly participating countries deal with bribery. Since the convention came into force, 199 people and 91 companies have been sanctioned for foreign bribery offenses.
The 34 members countries of the OECD, plus Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, and South Africa, are currently members of the convention. Russia, also a member of the anti-corruption workgroup, will soon sign the convention.