The OECD Anti-Bribery Convention (officially Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions) is a convention of the OECD aimed at reducing corruption in developing countries by encouraging sanctions against bribery in international business transactions carried out by companies based in the Convention member countries. Its 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.
A 2017 study found that multinational corporations that were subject to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention were less likely to engage in bribery than corporations that were based in non-member states.
In 1989, the OECD established an ad hoc working group for comparative review of national legislations regarding the bribery of foreign public officials. In 1994, the OECD Ministerial Council adopted the recommendation of the "Council on Bribery in International Business Transactions"; The convention was signed on 17 December 1997 and came into force on 15 February 1999. A revised recommendation was adopted in 2009.
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. Countries are responsible for implementing laws and regulations that conform to the convention and therefore provide for enforcement. The OECD performs its monitoring function in a four-phased examination process, with Phase 4 launched on 16 March 2016. Phase I consists of a review of legislation implementing the conventions in the member country with the goal of evaluating the adequacy of the laws. Phase 2 assesses the effectiveness with which the legislation is applied. Phase 3 assesses how well adherents are enforcing the Convention, the 2009 Recommendation, and any follow-up recommendations from Phase 2. Phase 4 is intended to be a tailored review specific to the needs of the adherent country. The Working Group on Bribery prepares a public report at the end of each phase. These reports are adopted under the principle of "consensus minus one," meaning that the country under examination cannot block publication of the report.
The Convention is open to accession by any country which is a member of the OECD or has become a full participant in the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions. As of 2017, 43 countries have ratified or acceded to the convention:
Costa Rica, Colombia and Latvia are the most recent states to have ratified the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, having done so on July 23, 2017, January 19, 2013 and May 30, 2014, respectively. Other countries that have participated as observers in the Working Group include China, Peru, Indonesia, and Malaysia.