The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (the OECD) Working Group on Bribery has released a report which shows that out of 38 states who have signed the Anti-Bribery Convention, only 14 prosecute foreign bribery. Of those, the United States continues to be the most active member in enforcing its anti-bribery laws.

The report states that the United States imposed penalties on 58 individuals and 28 companies during 2011. Other leading economies had far fewer prosecutions, with Germany punishing 14 individuals, Italy penalising only 10 and Japan six. France and the United Kingdom prosecuted just four and three individuals respectively.

For the first time, the OECD released data of penalties handed out for crimes and civil actions related to bribery, including money laundering and accounting violations. Germany imposed criminal penalties on the most individuals for charges related to bribery, charging six people, while the United States only punished four individuals, including those who settled. However, the United States took action against 14 of the 15 companies cited in the data.

In addition, the United States had by far the most civil actions against companies and individuals for other offences related to foreign bribery (such as money laundering and accounting offences), with 42 of the 43 actions brought against individuals and 86 of the 92 actions brought against companies.