Slovakia, prior to joining the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), ratified the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials within the scope of international business transactions on 11 February 1999. This convention governs foreign-trade transactions supported by government in all countries that are members of the club of the richest countries in the world – the OECD.
The goal of the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in international business transactions is to create the legal preconditions for exercising a criminal sanction on persons who, in certain cases, seek to influence a foreign public official so that he would act or would refrain from acting in connection with the execution of public duties in order to acquire or maintain a business transaction or other business advantage abroad.
The convention assumes that each contracting party will adopt such measures as are necessary, under its laws, to stipulate that anyone who knowingly offers, promises or provides inappropriate monetary or other advantage, directly or through intermediaries, to this official or to a third party so that this official would act or would refrain from acting in accordance with the execution of official duties in order to acquire or maintain a business activity or other inappropriate advantage in the course of the realization of an international deal, commits a crime.
EXIMBANKA SR, representing the Slovak Republic in OECD Working Party on Export Credits and Credit Guarantees (ECG) is playing its part in the fight against bribery in international business transactions.
In parallel with the development of the 1997 Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (the "OECD Anti-Bribery Convention", the ECG investigated how bribery was being addressed under Members' national export credit systems and, as a result, agreed, in 2000, an Action Statement that included appropriate measures to deter bribery in officially supported export credits.
In 2006, this Action Statement was reviewed and enhanced in light of experience, and transformed into an OECD Recommendation. The 2006 OECD Council Recommendation on Bribery and Officially Supported Export Credits, declaring Members’ commitment to take concrete, coordinated measures to detect and deter bribery in the export transactions that they support. The Slovak Republic is playing active role in recent ongoing review process of 2006 Recommendation in order to adapt international anti – bribery framework to todays dynamically changing and challenging environment.
In 2015, the Adherents agreed to conduct a review of the 2006 Recommendation, looking in particular at the concrete measures that Export Credit Agencies had put in place to deter bribery and at how the international framework for combatting bribery had evolved during the almost 10 years since the Recommendation’s adoption. The review process involved detailed discussions with Adherents and their ECAs concerning their current practices and policy objectives, consultations with external experts (lawyers, private sector companies and non-governmental organisations), and examination of various policy options and drafting proposals. The result is revised Recommendation, which was adopted by the OECD Council in March 2019 and which replaced the 2006 Recommendation.
The forms of bribery to which the revised 2019 Recommendation could apply have been extended beyond bribery of foreign public officials to include, in certain provisions, bribery of domestic public officials and, where prohibited under an Adherent's national laws, bribery in the private sector. 2019 Recommendation takes a practical and flexible approach based on respect for the relevant national laws and regulations prohibiting bribery in the countries and jurisdictions where parties are conducting business. The scope of the Recommendation has been widened from situations where relevant parties are currently under charge, have been convicted of bribery in a national court or have been subject to equivalent national administrative measures, to include situations where parties are formally under investigation by public prosecutors for potential bribery.
The Slovak Republic was evaluated by the OECD Working Group on Bribery team composed of lead examiners from Norway and Turkey and members of the OECD Secretariat in 2011 in order to assess and make recommendations on the Slovak Republic‘s implementation and enforcement of the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions and related instruments.