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|Argentina must seize chance to fight corruption|
|Thursday, 28 April 2016|
The OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Transactions has repeatedly over 15 years urged Argentina to strengthen its efforts to fight corruption and foreign bribery. During that time, the Working Group has recommended that Argentina change its laws to hold companies liable for corruption and to extend jurisdiction to Argentines who commit foreign bribery overseas. It has also urged the country to make its enforcement efforts more effective, particularly by strengthening judicial and prosecutorial independence, and eliminating delays in criminal proceedings.
On 26-27 April 2016, a high-level Working Group mission arrived in Buenos Aires to discuss these pressing issues with senior Argentine officials from the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, the Anti-Corruption Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship, federal judiciary, and representatives of the Argentine congress.
“Argentina right now has a good opportunity to enact fundamental and far-reaching reforms to strengthen its fight against corruption and foreign bribery,” says Drago Kos, Chair of the Working Group on Bribery. “The package of legislative reforms and the Justicia 2020 plan announced by President Macri’s government has the potential to address the Working Group’s recommendations that have been outstanding for over a decade. By working together and promptly enacting these reforms, the Argentine government and Congress can demonstrate to its citizens and foreign investors alike that this country has the necessary political will to eradicate corruption.”
The Working Group on Bribery – made up of the 34 OECD Member countries plus Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, Latvia, Russia and South Africa – is the Conference of Parties to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention. The Working Group’s Phase 3 Evaluation Report of Argentina (available here) expressed grave concerns about Argentina’s commitment to fight foreign bribery and how little progress Argentina had made since previous evaluations. The Working Group accordingly decided to send a high-level mission to Argentina to meet Ministers and senior officials, and to further engage with the Argentine authorities in order that they take the necessary steps to implement the Convention. The Working Group will also conduct a supplemental Phase 3bis evaluation of Argentina by March 2017 which will include an on-site visit to Buenos Aires in October 2016.
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