Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials

The Office of Monetary Affairs is the State Department lead in the fight against bribery of foreign officials in international business. As such, OMA acts as head of the U.S. delegation to the OECD Working Group on Bribery (WGB), which monitors implementation of the Anti-Bribery Convention. The WGB consists of 43 members, including all 35 members of the OECD. The Working Group’s tough peer review and strict follow up is considered the “gold standard” of monitoring. Together the WGB and U.S. enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) have changed how the world does business.

With active U.S. engagement and leadership, the WGB has developed into an effective tool to gain allies among other major economies to strengthen and enforce their foreign bribery laws. The United States used to stand alone in combating foreign bribery, but now many other countries have joined the effort by bringing criminal and/or civil proceedings in bribery cases. The U.S. delegation to the WGB includes the Departments of Justice and Commerce as well as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). A primary goal of the WGB and the United States is to secure the membership of remaining key economies to continue to level the playing field for U.S. business and combat the pernicious effects of corruption on economic development, rule of law, and democracy.