Having been ranked a respectable joint seventh place in Transparency International’s recent Corruption Perceptions Index, and as the only OECD country to have implemented the EITI criteria, Norway received a further pat on the back from the OECD Working Group on Bribery in its Phase 3 follow-up report.
The OECD Working Group concluded that of the eight recommendations listed in its Phase 3 Report of June 2011, Norway had fully implemented five, partially implemented two and not implemented one recommendation.
Of perhaps most interest is the fact that the OECD recognised Norway’s efforts to proactively investigate and prosecute cases of foreign bribery. Like the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, Økokrim has responsibility in Norway for investigating and prosecuting complex corruption cases including those involving the bribery of foreign public officials. Since the Phase 3 Report in June 2011 three natural persons and a legal person have been prosecuted for corruption. Of the three individuals, one was acquitted; one was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment; and the other to 60 days conditional imprisonment. The company, which employed the two convicted individuals, was initially sentenced by the Court of Appeal to a US$700,000 fine but was subsequently acquitted by the Court of Appeal in June 2013.
Økokrim has also opened a further two investigations concerning foreign bribery which are ongoing involving alleged wrongdoing in Libya and Bahrain. The OECD Working Group also noted that over the past two years, Økokrim has significantly bolstered its capacity and resources to investigate corruption cases by assigning two teams of fifteen investigators to the task of investigating and punishing corruption.
The OECD’s Working Group Phase 3 follow-up report on Norway is available here