In our latest Compliance 101 episode, Nick is joined by Head of the Anti-Corruption Division in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Patrick Moulette. Patrick will draw on important anti-corruption and bribery cases and what we can learn from them, as well as the industries most vulnerable to bribery and corruption.

What is the OECD?

The OECD has been around in one form or another since 1948 as an intergovernmental organisation focused on trade and democracy. In 1997, the OECD put together a convention on combating bribery of foreign public officials in international business transactions. 

Before the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention was signed in 1997, there was no effective multinational framework for the prevention and prosecution of bribery.

But more than 20 years since the Convention’s implementation, nearly 800 companies and individuals have received sanctions for foreign bribery, at least 125 individuals put behind bars, and over 500 investigations have been undertaken in 30 countries.

The Convention has also been a catalyst for ensuring those who expose wrongdoing are better protected and for the widespread adoption of legislation to ensure that companies – not just individuals – can be held to account for unlawful behaviour, not only for foreign bribery. This has forced many companies worldwide to adopt or strengthen their ethics and compliance programmes in order to detect and prevent improper conduct.

A landmark example is the successful sanctioning in 2016 of the global construction conglomerate, Odebrecht, and its subsidiary, which resulted in the largest-ever penalty imposed in a foreign bribery case, totalling $3.5 billion. Brazil, Switzerland and the United States, all signatories to the Anti-Bribery Convention, worked together on what the US Department of Justice called “the largest foreign bribery case in history”. The record fine served to compensate the victims and to fill public coffers. Brazil’s commitments under the Anti-Bribery Convention also helped propel the adoption of a new law in 2014, which enabled Brazil to hold companies like Odebrecht accountable for corrupt practices, both at home and overseas.

Listen to Episode 2: How is bribery & corruption being tackled?

You can listen to the latest episode here. Don’t forget to follow us on Spotify, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts and other popular podcast providers to get updated on future episodes.