Portugal’s enforcement of its foreign bribery laws has been extremely low. Not a single prosecution has resulted from 15 allegations of Portuguese companies bribing foreign officials in high-risk countries. Several investigations have been closed prematurely. Some allegations were not investigated at all. Portugal must pursue all foreign bribery allegations more vigorously and thoroughly.
The OECD Working Group on Bribery has just completed its report on Portugal’s implementation of the Convention of Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions and related instruments.
The Group made further recommendations to improve Portugal’s fight against foreign bribery, including:
- Prevent foreign officials from laundering proceeds of foreign bribery in Portugal
- Raise the alarmingly low awareness of Portuguese companies of the fight against foreign bribery
- Hold state-owned companies liable for foreign bribery
- Safeguard investigations from risks of influence by concerns of a political and economic nature