Foreign Bribery

Foreign bribery - what is it?


Corruption is a complex social, political and economic phenomenon that knows no boundaries and can affect every country in the world. Therefore, there is also foreign bribery, which occurs when a person, for the purpose of obtaining an undue advantage in connection with business, or of retaining an advantage already obtained in the course of carrying out international business, offers, promises to give, or gives, any undue advantage to a foreign official in consideration of that official's actions or inactions in the course of his or her official duties.

How is foreign bribery combated?


Bribery of foreign officials is combated through a variety of measures, including criminal prosecution, corruption prevention measures, and anti-corruption awareness raising in the public and private sectors.

The OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions is the most important document outlining measures to reduce bribery of foreign officials in business transactions. The convention stipulates:

  • An obligation for Member States to combat bribery of foreign officials.
  • Imposition of various measures against natural and legal persons for bribing foreign officials.
  • International cooperation in combating corruption.
What is the impact of corruption on businesses?



Corrupt companies risk criminal, administrative or civil liability for themselves and their employees, as well as for their business partners and suppliers.


Corruption can have an irreversible negative impact on a company’s reputation. Corruption can lead to uncertainty in business transactions, unreliability of business entities, and a decline in attracting foreign investment.


The cost of corruption to a company can be very high, both in terms of fines, compensation for damages and the cost to companies of internal investigations into corrupt practices. At the same time, it increases the cost of doing business and hinders the fair and efficient functioning of the market.


Companies involved in corruption find it difficult to obtain loans from national and international financial institutions and to attract investors, which leads to an inability to grow financially and difficult business development.

How to identify corruption in the international arena?


When entering the international arena, it is advisable to familiarize oneself with the legal framework of the country in which you are planning to develop business relations or establish a business, and to be familiar with that country’s legal definitions of corruption-related offences, as what is allowed in one country is not necessarily allowed in another. Not knowing which actions of foreign public officials and business partners are prohibited corruption offences does not protect against possible legal consequences.

If you have any doubts about whether you are experiencing corruption, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is this legal?
  • Is this ethical?
  • Is this detrimental to the public interest?
What are the potential corruption risks?


In many countries, corruption risks are widespread in areas such as public procurement, healthcare, energy, the provision, use and administration of financial assistance, construction and territorial planning, and the supervision of economic operators.

Situations where you may be exposed to corruption risk:

  • Cooperation is offered by a company with which a foreign civil servant or politician is associated.
  • A foreign civil servant or politician strongly recommends a certain company.
  • The company is registered in a reduced tax area.
  • The company has a history of illegal or suspicious activities.
  • The company offers large-scale cooperation and business development opportunities, but has little relevant experience and is not well known in the business.
  • The company is looking for unusual payment arrangements, high commissions or cash payments.
  • Written agreements are avoided, or signed agreements do not comply with the legal standards in force in the country.
  • In order to expand business, local agents are used in foreign countries to speed up the business development process for a fee.
  • The company has connections with, or supports, organisations that are associated with public officials, politicians or charities.
What to do if you witness corruption in the international area?


If you encounter corruption, report it to the STT. You can report known cases of corruption in the following ways: on the website, on the “Report to the STT” hotline (8 5) 266 3333, by email to, by using the “Pranešk STT” mobile app, by sending a report by post or by visiting the nearest STT office. In all cases, the confidentiality of a person submitting a report is guaranteed.

If you are abroad, you can also report to:

  • a foreign country’s anti-corruption authority (similar to the STT, if any);
  • a foreign law enforcement authority (e.g. the police);
  • a diplomatic mission or consular office of the Republic of Lithuania.
How can I be compensated for a reported act of corruption?


A person may be remunerated for valuable information provided to the STT on criminal offences of a corrupt nature if:

  • he reported it voluntarily;
  • the information is valuable and has helped to detect or prevent criminal offences of a corrupt nature;
  • the person has not received remuneration for information about the offence or related offences.

This valuable information must be provided no later than before the person is recognised as a suspect or summoned as a witness. A commission established by order of the Director of the STT shall examine the information available and submit to the Director of the STT a conclusion on the validity of the payment of the lump-sum, as well as a proposal on the specific amount of the lump-sum. The decision on the remuneration and the amount of the lump-sum shall be taken by the Director of the STT.

The amount of the lump-sum depends on the seriousness of the offence uncovered, with a maximum lump-sum amount of up to 750 BSB (Basic Social Benefit).

When deciding whether to grant a lump-sum, full confidentiality of the person and the confidentiality of the data is guaranteed.

Useful sources


Useful sources on foreign bribery:

Anti-corruption education video lecture


In this anti-corruption education video lecture, foreign bribery is discussed in greater detail. Data from the relevant sociological surveys “Lithuanian Map of Corruption” 2021 and “Transparency International: Exporting Corruption” 2022 is reviewed, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is briefly introduced and a more detailed overview of the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Officials in International Business Transactions is provided. The video lecture is supplemented by real case examples of foreign bribery and indicators that may signal such risk.