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News - 22/03/21

OECD creates Specific Group to Monitor Corruption in Brazil

Brazil is one of the signatories of the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (“OECD Anti-Bribery Convention”). The Decreto nº 3.678/2000 was responsible for incorporating the convention into the Brazilian legal system, with the objective of combating acts of corruption in the scope of international trade, and incorporating measures that ensure cooperation between the signatory countries.

The OECD Anti-Bribery Convention has 44 signatory countries, this group is formed by all the member countries of the organization and 7 non-member countries, Brazil belongs to the second category of signatories. The convention creates legally binding standards to criminalize bribery of foreign public officials in international business transactions, establishing a series of related measures in order to unsure the effectiveness of the convention.

In addition, the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention itself provides for an open monitoring mechanism that should be developed by peers countries to ensure the full implementation of the international obligations assumed by the signatories under the convention. The OECD Working Group on Bribery is responsible for such monitoring, it issues country monitoring reports, documents that provide recommendations bases on a rigorous analysis of each nation.

According to the OECD guidelines, the monitoring process of signatory countries is divided in four phases. Phase one consists of assessing the country´s legal framework regarding the fight against international bribery and the implementation of the convention. If this initial assessment is considered adequate, the second phase analyzes whether the country is applying the legislation in practice. The third phase focuses on enforcement of cross-cutting issues and unimplemented recommendations of the previous phase. Finally, the forth phase focuses on cross-cutting issues adapted to the specific needs of the country and unimplemented recommendations of the third phase.

Moreover, if a signatory country inappropriately implements or is unable to succeed on an ongoing basis in implementing the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, additional monitoring steps can be taken. One of the options available in this context is the creation of a monitoring sub-group. This measure is not very common.

Last week, as initially announced by BBC Brasil, it was made public that the OECD created a permanent specific group to monitor the fight against corruption in Brazil. Brazil is currently in the fourth monitoring phase, as disclosed on the organization´s website[1], and the creation of this subgroup aims to monitor the fight against corruption in the country on an ongoing and independent basis, in addition to maintaining frequent consultations with Brazilian authorities.[2]

According to an article by Valor Econômico, the subgroup was created in December 2020 to monitor the issue in Brazil and it is formed by three member countries of the organizations, namely: United States, Italy and Norway. The first meeting took place at the begging of the month in Paris. Also, the next meeting should probably happen in October 2021.[3]

The Brazilian government expressed its opinion on the repercussion of the news published by BBC Brazil by means of an official note. The document clarified that the creation of the subgroup by the OECD was endorsed by Brazil, and that this mechanism is a part of the monitoring methodology of the organization. It was also mentioned that Brazil has adopted several measures to combat and improve the fight against corruption in the country, such as the 2020-2025 Anti-Corruption Plan and several initiatives in the judicial sphere, mentioning the number of operations conducted to fight corruption in the last years. The official note also declared that Brazil has already undergone to three monitoring phases and should complete the fourth review process by 2023. Finally, it was mentioned that Brazil is the non-member country most adherent to OECD instruments (99 out of 245 instruments).[4]

 

 

[1] Complete information regarding the monitoring phases that Brazil was subjected to are available at: http://www.oecd.org/daf/anti-bribery/brazil-oecdanti-briberyconvention.htm.

[2] The BBC Brasil article on the matter is available at: https://www.bbc.com/portuguese/brasil-56406033.

[3] The Valor Econômico article on the matter is available at: https://valor.globo.com/brasil/noticia/2021/03/15/ocde-monta-grupo-indito-para-monitorar-corrupo-no-brasil.ghtml.

[4] The Official Note from 03/16/2021 issued by the Brazilian Casa Civil is available at: https://www.gov.br/casacivil/pt-br/assuntos/notas-oficiais/nota-oficial-casa-civil-16-03-2021#:~:text=Com%20rela%C3%A7%C3%A3o%20%C3%A0%20mat%C3%A9ria%20intitulada,1.