Report: Bulgaria Not Preventing Foreign Bribery

Bulgaria is among 22 countries that have little or no enforcement to deter international companies from bribing their civil servants, according to a new report by the anti-corruption organisation Transparency International.

The report, Exporting Corruption, says that Bulgaria at the bottom of the league in terms of investigating, prosecuting and trying people for corruption, alongside larger exporters like South Korea, Turkey, Japan, Russia and several EU states.

States scoring well in the ranking include the US, Germany, Britain, Italy, Switzerland and Israel.

The report includes states that are signatories to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development’s 1997 Anti-Bribery Convention, which was adopted to address the supply side of international corruption.

“Governments have promised to implement and enforce laws against bribing foreign officials under the OECD and UN conventions. Yet many are not even investigating major cases of grand corruption, which involve state owned enterprises and senior politicians,” said Transparency International chairperson Delia Ferreira Rubio in a press release.

Apart from the 36 OECD members, eight other countries – including Bulgaria – are parties to the treaty.

Countries are scored based on enforcement performance at different stages – the number of investigations launched, charges filed and cases concluded with sanctions.

“We evaluate the judicial framework, the cooperation on difficult cases on the international institutional level and the ability of individuals to remain protected when filing a complaint,” Ecaterina Camenscic of Transparency International-Bulgaria told BIRN.

She said that despite Bulgaria’s good judicial framework, enforcement has not been put to the test yet.

“We are a small country with limited exports. It is a matter of fact that there are no cases involving Bulgaria, but there might not have been a reason for them,” Camenscic said.

However the report underlines some of the shortcomings of the Bulgarian judiciary in dealing with international cases.

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