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The newly released OECD Bribery Report analyzes 427 cases from 17 different countries, including the U.S., and tells the story of how bribes are paid, where they are paid, to whom they are paid, and who is ultimately sanctioned. Here are the key findings:

  • Two-thirds of foreign bribery cases occurred in four sectors: oil and gas/mining (19%); construction (15%); transportation and storage (15%); and information and communications (10%).
  • Corporate management or CEOs were involved in 53% of the cases.
  • One in three cases were instigated by self-reporting. Companies that self-reported became aware of foreign bribery in their international operations primarily through internal audits (31%) and merger and acquisition due diligence (28%).
  • Seventy-five percent of bribery cases involved payments by third party intermediaries. In 41% of the cases, these intermediaries were agents, such as local sales and marketing agents, distributors, and brokers. Another 35% of intermediaries were corporate vehicles, such as subsidiary companies, consulting firms, companies located in offshore financial centers or tax havens, or companies established under the beneficial ownership of the public official who received the bribe.
  • Bribes were paid, offered or given most frequently to employees of state-owned or controlled enterprises (27%), followed by customs officials (11%), health officials (7%), and defense officials (6%).
  • Fifty-seven percent of cases involved bribes to obtain public procurement contracts.
  • Sixty-nine percent of the cases were settled with sanctions.