Bribery of foreign public officials
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Bribery of a public foreign official is a serious criminal offence that carries heavy penalties.
Foreign bribery results in inefficient allocation of resources and economic distortions. It is a threat to democracy and the rule of law, corrosive of good governance and an impediment to economic development.
International cooperation is required to effectively combat foreign bribery by ensuring that countries adopt common rules. Australia is a member of the OECD Working Group on Bribery and a party to the key international conventions concerned with combating foreign bribery:
- The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (Anti-Bribery Convention), and
- The United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC).
Foreign bribery information and awareness
The Australian Government's Foreign Bribery Information and Awareness Pack provides key information on the offence of bribing a foreign public official and steps for reporting suspected foreign bribery:
Legislation can be found on the ComLaw website.
Please email Foreign.email@example.com if you have any difficulties downloading the documents.
Consultation: Assessing the ‘facilitation payment' defence to the foreign bribery offence and other measures
On 15 November 2011, the Minister for Home Affairs launched a public consultation paper to seek interested stakeholder views on possible changes to Australia's anti‑foreign bribery laws.
The government is examining Australia's anti-bribery legislation, in accordance with Australia's commitment to combating corruption at home and abroad and our international obligations.
The consultation was conducted during the period from November 2011 to February 2012.
The following submissions have been received by the Attorney-General's Department and are publicly available:
The government will take into consideration all the submissions received when determining the next steps to be taken in relation to the issues raised in the consultation paper.
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Working Group on Bribery
Australia is a member of the OECD Working Group on Bribery and a party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (Anti-Bribery Convention).
The Working Group monitors implementation of the Anti-Bribery Convention and provides comprehensive information about global anti-corruption initiatives on the OECD website.
In accordance with Australia's membership of the OECD Working Group on Bribery and as a party to the Anti-Bribery Convention, Australia's anti-foreign bribery regime is subject to periodic review by the Working Group. The Working Group publishes a report on each of its reviews:
- Australia ratified the convention and the Working Group published its first report on Australia in December 1999
- The Working Group's second report was published in January 2006
- The Working Group's third report was published in October 2012
The Working Group's reports are available on the OECD Website.
Other anti-corruption initiatives
The Attorney-General's Department provides information about other anti-corruption initiatives: