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Canada must urgently boost efforts to prosecute, says OECD

OECD - Paris, 28 March 2011

Canada’s enforcement of the foreign bribery offence still lagging; must urgently boost efforts to prosecute, says OECD

Although Canada has recently made progress in investigating the bribery of foreign public officials by Canadian businesses, Canada has only completed one prosecution since it enacted its foreign bribery law in 1999. A new report by the OECD states that Canada’s regime for enforcement of the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (CFPOA) remains problematic in important areas.

The OECD Working Group on Bribery has just completed a report on Canada’s enforcement of the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions. Enforcement has recently increased, with one company convicted in 2005 for violating the CFPOA, one ongoing prosecution and over 20 active investigations, the report notes. Credit for these cases is largely attributed to the RCMP International Anti-Corruption Unit, established in 2008. The RCMP Unit has two teams – one in Ottawa, Canada’s capital, and another in Calgary, Canada’s hub for the extractive industries. The Unit is also commended for its substantial public outreach and awareness-raising efforts.

But the report warns that Canada’s ability to successfully prosecute these investigations will be in jeopardy unless the Public Prosecution Service of Canada is given the resources it needs to prosecute the large volume of cases that may soon follow the investigations.

ENDS

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