24/03/2017 – Some 16 years after joining the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, Argentina remains in serious non-compliance. It still cannot hold companies liable for foreign bribery or prosecute its citizens who commit this crime abroad. Serious efforts have been made to implement the Convention since December 2015. Argentina must now ensure that the Corporate Liability Bill that was introduced into Congress in 2016 addresses these as well as other major deficiencies and then promptly enact the Bill. Argentina must also take urgent steps to address concerns about judicial and prosecutorial independence.
The OECD Working Group on Bribery has just completed its report on Argentina’s implementation of the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions and related instruments. The Report results from the Working Group’s exceptional decision in 2014 to conduct a supplemental evaluation of Argentina.
The Working Group made further recommendations to improve Argentina’s fight against foreign bribery, including:
- Significantly reduce delay in complex economic crime investigations and prosecutions
- Proactively investigate and prosecute all foreign bribery cases as appropriate
- Reduce the very high number of judicial vacancies and the use of surrogate judges
- Ensure investigative judges and prosecutors are adequately resourced
The report also notes some positive developments. The Corporate Liability Bill is high on the agenda of the current government. An express prohibition of the tax deduction of bribes to foreign officials has been enacted. Argentine authorities have made substantial efforts to engage the private sector and promote corporate compliance programmes. Efforts to raise awareness of foreign bribery within the Argentine public administration were also made. Judicial investigations have been opened in several foreign bribery cases, though some cases should be pursued more proactively. Argentina has taken steps to extend the application of International Financial Reporting Standards. The regime to debar companies from obtaining public procurement contracts has also been expanded. Financial information forwarded to law enforcement has increased.
The report lists all of the recommendations of the Working Group to Argentina at pages 63-68, and includes an overview of recent enforcement actions and specific legal, policy and institutional features of Argentina’s framework to fight foreign bribery.
Argentina will report to the Working Group in October 2017 and March 2018 on progress made in implementing certain key recommendations. Argentina will then report by March 2019 on its implementation of all of the recommendations. This report will be publicly available. The Working Group may take additional measures depending on Argentina’s progress in implementing the Phase 3bis Recommendations.
For further information, journalists are invited to contact Daisy Pelham from the OECD Anti-Corruption Division.
More information on Argentina and the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention is available at www.oecd.org/countries/argentina/argentina-oecdanti-briberyconvention.htm.
For more information on OECD’s work to fight corruption, please visit www.oecd.org/corruption/anti-bribery.
Also AvailableEgalement disponible(s)