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Implementing the OECD Convention against Corruption:
Working with the private sector

An effort to promote transparency in international business transactions

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development OECD
 Mexico Government
September 19-20, 2002
Mexico, D. F.

Objectives

The Mexico conference has three objectives:

  1. Provide information on the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions and other OECD instruments to the business community, accountants, lawyers and public servants.
  2. Encourage companies to adopt compliance programmes and mechanisms.
  3. Encourage complementary reform trends on public procurement systems and accounting standards in the region, in a corruption prevention perspective.

Implementation of the OECD Convention

By signing the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions in 1997, thirty-five countries (among which Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico and the United States) agreed that paying bribes to foreign public officials in order to obtain international business deals was no longer acceptable. The monitoring process has proved to function efficiently, as almost all State parties have implemented legislation bringing national law into accordance with the Convention and will be evaluated on how efficiently they are applying this legislation. This second phase of the monitoring process has already started with the review of Finland, the US, Iceland and Germany.

In parallel with the monitoring process of the Convention, the OECD Secretariat is developing complementary initiatives to ensure the efficient implementation of this key instrument. The general philosophy is to complement the legalistic work linked to the implementation of the Convention with activities focused on the prevention of corruption in international transactions that promote the adoption of internal prevention mechanisms in firms and in public administrations. These initiatives are meant also to create bridges between the related regulatory trends of corporate governance and corporate responsibility, and to develop the dialogue and collaboration with the business community.

OECD Global Forums

More broadly, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has a general mandate to ensure integrity and transparency in the international economy and to help member and non-member countries improve the quality of governance. In its Final Communiqué of May 2002, the OECD Ministerial Council declared: "The OECD will continue to work with developing countries and countries in transition to help them identify and meet key human and governance capacity needs (…). OECD Global Forums and regional dialogue can support developing countries’ efforts to build good governance and market-supportive institutions conducive to mobilizing domestic resources and attracting investment capital."

Previous for have addressed issues such as the management of control agencies, transparency in the public sector and the contribution of media corporations to governance. Other responses include regional outreach activities, such as the Governance Outreach Initiative for Latin America, developed to support the implementation of the mutually reinforcing OAS and OECD Conventions.

Agenda

Thursday, September 19
Session 1: Introduction

  • Miguel Hakim, Undersecretary for Economic Relations and International Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Francisco Barrio, Secretary of the Comptrollership and Administrative Development
  • Rainer Geiger, Deputy Director, Directorate for Financial, Fiscal, and Enterprise Affairs (DAFFE), OECD
  • Alejandro Ramos Flores, Deputy Attorney General for International Affairs, PGR.

Session 2: The OECD Convention against Corruption

This session will give detailed information on the OECD Convention and on the Recommendation against Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Transactions: objectives and scope of these instruments, as well as the results achieved so far. Mexico will present what measures have been taken to implement these international instruments. Practical issues such as what to do with bribe allegations, how to deal with subsidiaries or joint-ventures will be addressed.

CHAIR: Alexis Rovzar, Director General, White and Case Mexico

Session 3: Developing Company Compliance Programs

CHAIR: Humberto Bañuelos, President, Mexican Securities Industry Association (AMIB)

  • Key elements for a compliance program: lessons learned from international best practices.
    Andres Antonius, Managing Director for Latin America, Kroll.
  • Beyond compliance, creating an ethical business environment.
    Tim Cullen, Chief Executive, TCA International Policy Management, Oxford, United Kingdom.
  • [Internal managerial control: the need for an international framework, continuing self-evaluation and reporting] Jim Wesberry, Director, Atlatl Project Mexico, United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • How to use the resources of the Latin American culture to put integrity values into practice?
    Carlos Manfroni, President, Public Ethics Foundation, Argentina.

Friday, September 20

Session 4: How to Improve Accounting Standards and Corporate Practices to Increase Transparency in Business Operations?

Failures in the accounting standards of companies have caused great damages to the global economy. This session will give detailed information on the different international trends on accounting standards and corporate practices to increase transparency in business operations.

CHAIR: Fernando Morales Gutierrez, Legislation Vice-president, Mexican Institute of Public Accountants.

  • [World trends in accounting and corporate standards]
    Florencio López de Silanés, Director, International Institute of Corporate Governance, Yale School of Management.
  • The Recent US Experience in strengthening accounting and audit standards.
    Robert D. Strahota, Assistant Director, International Affairs Office, Securities Exchange Commission (SEC).
  • The European experience in moving towards International Accounting Standards.
    Erik van der Plaats, Senior Policy Adviser on Financial Reporting and Audit, European Commission
  • Improving accounting standards in Mexico.
    Guillermo Zamarripa, Vice-President of Financial Institutions Supervision, Comisión Nacional Bancaria y de Valores (CNBV).
  • Building Public Trust
    Ellen H. Masterson, Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Session 5: How to reform public procurement systems to reduce corruption opportunities?

By gathering international experts on public procurement, this session will focus on the problems encountered in the implementation of reforms on public procurement systems, especially in Mexico and other countries in the American Continent.

CHAIR: Magistrate Julio Cesar Vazquez-Mellado, General Director of the ICJF

  • Reforms to the Procurement and Public Works Laws.
    Guillermo Haro, Head of the Acquisitions Standards, Public Works, Services and Government Assets Unit, Ministry of the Comptrollership and Administrative Development, Mexico
  • Enforcement of public procurement regulations: the experience of OECD countries.
    Michel Desmarais, Director of the Forensic Accounting Management Directorate, Public Works and Government Services, Canada.
  • How to overcome the challenges of implementing reform?
    Bernard Becq, Regional Procurement Adviser, Latin America and the Caribbean Region, World Bank
  • Lessons learned from the experience of Latin American countries.
    Jaime Sanchez, Adviser on acquisitions, Integrated Financial Administration Program, Dominican Republic.

Session 6: Conclusions

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October 07, 2002

 

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