India among nations with ‘no or little enforcement’ against foreign bribery: Report

• India is among four countries with “no or little enforcement” mechanism to check foreign bribery, according to a report.

• The 2018 edition of the ‘Exporting Corruption Report’ was released by anti-corruption organization Transparency International.

• The classification of enforcement is based on the convention countries’ enforcement actions in the period 2014-2017.

About inclusion of India

• From the 2018 report, China, Hong Kong, India and Singapore are classified for the first time.

• They all have 2 per cent or more of world exports but are not parties to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.

• All 4 fall into the lowest level (little or no enforcement)

• They are, however, parties to the UN Convention against Corruption, which also calls for enforcement against foreign bribery

About OECD Anti-Bribery Convention

• The Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions is a convention of the OECD aimed at reducing political corruption and corporate crime in developing countries.

• By encouraging sanctions against bribery in international business transactions carried out by companies based in the Convention member countries.

• Main goal is to create a truly level playing field in today’s international business environment.

• The Convention requires adherents to criminalise acts of offering or giving bribe, but not of soliciting or receiving bribes.

• Countries that have signed the convention are required to put in place legislation that criminalises the act of bribing a foreign public official.

• The OECD has no authority to implement the convention but instead monitors implementation by participating countries via its Working Group on Bribery.

• The OECD Anti-Bribery Convention was adopted in 1997 to address the supply side of international corruption.

• There are now 44 parties to the convention, 36 of them members of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development).

Amendment to Prevention of corruption act

• The Indian Parliament passed a bill amending the present Prevention of Corruption Act, which covers bribe payers for the first time in July 2008.

• The bill also covers agents, subsidiaries and subcontractors of foreign firms working in India or doing business with Indian entities.

• The Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act prescribe criminal and civil liability only for domestic corruption.

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Mains Paper 2: Governance | Important aspects of governance, transparency & accountability

Prelims level: Exporting Corruption Report, OECD Anti Bribery Convention, UN Convention against Corruption, Prevention of corruption act

Mains level: Prevalence of corruption in India & how to stem its propogation