14th July 2017

OECD: The Czech Republic must take significant steps to enforce its foreign bribery laws, but demonstrates commitment to improve

The Czech Republic must strengthen its efforts to detect, investigate and prosecute foreign bribery OECD wrote in June 2017. Seventeen years after ratifying the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, the Czech Republic has yet to prosecute a case involving the bribery of foreign public officials. This is a cause for concern, especially considering the export-oriented nature of the Czech economy, which includes high-risk sectors for bribery including machinery and defence materials.

The OECD Working Group on Bribery completed its Phase 4 evaluation on the Czech Republic’s implementation of the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions and related instruments. The report highlights the Czech Republic’s strong determination to improve its system for combating foreign bribery. It also identifies several law enforcement practices or tools employed by the Czech Republic that could potentially increase foreign bribery enforcement, including: detecting allegations through foreign requests for legal assistance, the use of non-financial forms of evidence, joint investigative teams with foreign authorities, and central registries for bank accounts and beneficial ownership information.  The report also makes recommendations to:
Ensure the availability of adequate analytical resources for investigating foreign bribery cases;

  • Support efforts by non-financial obliged entities to detect and report suspicions of money laundering related to foreign bribery, such as those in the real-estate and gambling sectors, tax advisors, and legal professionals; 
  • Clarify the new exemption from criminal liability for companies that have taken ‘justly required’ efforts;
  • Adopt legislation to increase the independence of the prosecution authorities; and
  • Adopt appropriate whistleblower protections in the private sphere.

The report also recognises that the Czech Republic has successfully implemented recommendations from its Phase 3 evaluation in 2013 to raise awareness among various stakeholders about foreign bribery and related issues, such as the non-tax deductibility of bribe payments. It also developed more comprehensive statistics on sanctions for corruption applied in practice, which facilitated the Working Group’s assessment of this area.

Read the report.

Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic