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OECD slams UK

Remember the disgraceful consclusion to the Al Yamamah affair? In brief, an investigation was spiked because 'our friends the Saudis' threatened to take their business elsewhere, the AG deciding the investigation was 'not in the public interest'.

Brown and co may well have forgotten it, but fortunately the OECD has had its eye on it and has strong words:

"The Working Group is disappointed and seriously concerned with the unsatisfactory implementation of the Convention by the UK. The continued failure of the UK to address deficiencies in its laws on bribery of foreign public officials and on corporate liability for foreign bribery has hindered investigations. The Working Group reiterates its previous 2003, 2005 and 2007 recommendations that the UK enact new foreign bribery legislation at the earliest possible date. The Group also strongly regrets the uncertainty about the UK‘s commitment to establish an effective corporate liability regime in accordance with the Convention, as recommended in 2005, and urges the UK to adopt appropriate legislation as a matter of high priority".

....

"The Working Group stresses that failing to enact effective and comprehensive legislation undermines the credibility of the UK legal framework and potentially triggers the need for increased due diligence over UK companies by their commercial partners or Multilateral Development Banks".

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