World Bulletin/News Desk
Most of the bribes in the world are paid by multinational companies, usually with the knowledge of senior management, revealed the Foreign Bribery Report released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on Tuesday.
According to the OECD report, senior managers and politicians are largely aware of bribes that are generally paid to win public procurement contracts in advanced economies, rather than in the developing world. Most bribe payers and takers are from wealthy countries.
"In 41 percent of cases management-level employees paid or authorized the bribe, whereas the company CEO was involved in 12% of cases. In one case, a congressman was convicted of conspiracy to bribe foreign public officials...50 percent of foreign bribery cases happen in countries with high human development levels, " the OECD Foreign Bribery Report stated.
The report says that the average bribe amount was nearly $14 million, which is "without doubt mere tip of the iceberg."
The report is based on the analysis of more than 400 cases worldwide between February 1999 and June 2014 involving companies or individuals, from 41 signatory countries of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, who were involved in bribing public officials.
Two thirds of the foreign bribery cases occurred in four sectors: extractive, construction, transportation and storage, and information and communication, the OECD Foreign Bribery Report states.
The report didn't mention any specifics companies or cases.
The report says that bribes "were promised, offered or given most frequently to employees of state-owned enterprises, 27 percent, followed by customs officials, 11 percent, health officials, 7 percent, and defense officials, 6 percent. Heads of state and ministers were bribed in 5 percent of cases but received 11 percent of total bribes."
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development called on governments around the world to "strengthen sanctions, make settlements public and reinforce protection of whistleblowers as part of greater efforts to tackle bribery and corruption."