Watchdog: many countries fall short on bribe rules

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BERLIN (AP) — An anti-corruption watchdog says that several of the Group of 20 global economic powers are making little or no effort to enforce rules barring multinational companies from paying bribes abroad, and only Canada has improved significantly in the past year.

Transparency International annually assesses compliance with an anti-bribery convention signed by 41 countries that prohibits bribes to win contracts, or dodge taxes and local laws.

The group said Thursday only the U.S., Germany, Britain and Switzerland are "actively" enforcing the rules, opening many investigations that result in prosecutions.

It found "little or no" enforcement in 22 countries accounting for 27 percent of world exports. They include G-20 members Japan, South Korea, Russia, Mexico, Brazil and Turkey.

Transparency said Canada, credited with "moderate" enforcement, has significantly improved its foreign bribery law.