International Standards for the Bribery of Public Officials

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is the U.S. standard for bribery of public officials by U.S. concerns or international concerns with a presence in the U.S. The international standard is the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions promulgated by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development.

The convention sets a criminal offense for:

any person intentionally to offer, promise or give any undue pecuniary or other advantage, whether directly or through intermediaries, to a foreign public official, for that official or for a third party, in order that the official act or refrain from acting in relation to the performance of official duties, in order to obtain or retain business or other improper advantage in the conduct of international business.

A foreign public official means:

any person holding a legislative, administrative or judicial
office of a foreign country, whether appointed or elected; any person exercising a public
function for a foreign country, including for a public agency or public enterprise; and any
official or agent of a public international organisation.

A public enterprise means:

any enterprise, regardless of its legal form, over which a government, or governments, may, directly or indirectly, exercise a dominant influence. This is deemed to be the case, inter alia, when the government or governments hold the majority of the enterprise’s subscribed capital, control the majority of votes attaching to shares issued by the enterprise or can appoint a majority of the members of the enterprise’s administrative or managerial body or supervisory board.

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