Thursday, December 4, 2014

How the World's Biggest Companies Bribe Foreign Governments
"Corruption knows no boundaries, or borders, according to a new study released by The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The OECD analyzed 427 foreign bribery cases that were closed between 1999 and 2014. What the researchers found is a steady stream of illicit money exchanges between multinational businesses and public officials in both poor and rich countries.

'We have learned that bribes are being paid across sectors to officials from countries at all stages of economic development,' the researchers wrote. 'Corporate leadership is involved, or at least aware, of the practice of foreign bribery in most cases, rebutting perceptions of bribery as the act of rogue employees.'"...

... these are business executives and government officials who have actually been caught, meaning that they likely only represent a fraction of the total number involved in under the table cash exchanges. While the report doesn't name any of the corporations, finding one currently embattled by corruption accusations isn't hard. Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailers, is currently being probed for bribery in a number of countries, after the company disclosed potential violations in Mexico.


But what is truly unique about the study is the level of detail it uncovers about how the bribes are being paid, where they are being paid, why they are being paid, who is offering them, and to whom they are being offered.  Large multinational companies, for instance, appear to be much fonder of offering illicit cash for quiet favors than smaller corporate entities.

There are also certain industries, which appear more comfortable with—or, at least, familiar with—the practice than others. Nearly 60 percent of the foreign bribery cases observed happened in just four sectors: extractive (i.e. mining), construction, transportation and storage, and information and communication."

View the Report
  

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