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OECD: Lithuania has developed appropriate legal framework for combating international corruption

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (the OECD) Working Group on Bribery positively evaluated Lithuania's implementation, legal reforms and application of the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions. In Phase 1 report on implementing the OECD Anti-bribery convention in Lithuania, the Working Group recognises recent legislative reforms and considers that Lithuania’s legislation largely conforms to the standards of the Convention.

The OECD Secretariat, together with the experts from the Member States, evaluated the legal framework in Lithuania of Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions. The report’s draft was analyzed by the forty-four OECD Members of the Working Group (experts from such countries as the USA, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany and Switzerland).

In the report, there were some comments regarding Lithuanian legal acts and it was noted that the practical application of the legal acts will be monitored in future evaluation of Lithuania. It will be the provisions of the Criminal Code on the application of the legal entity and responsibility, the possible interpretations of court practice. In addition, it was mentioned, the maximum fines applicable to the foreign bribery offence are low and may not be proportionate to the advantage obtained in many foreign bribery cases.

This was the third evaluation of the six pending evaluations phases in Lithuania of the OECD Working Group. The first two reports has been successfully passed during the last two years.

According to the Lithuanian legal system, international treaties must be approved by the Seimas (the Parliament). The Law on Ratification of the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions No. XIII-305 was adopted by the Seimas on 20 April 2017. It was published in the Register of Legal Acts on 2 May 2017 and entered into force on 3 May 2017.

The OECD Working Group on Bribery already started the evaluation of Phase 2 – the practical application of the legal acts. In July 2017, the OECD members from Secretariat, together with the experts from the Member States are coming to Vilnius, Lithuania. Phase 2 Report on Lithuania by the OECD Working Group hearing is expected in December 2017.