OECD: Lithuania had taken significant steps to strengthen its legislative framework to combat foreign bribery

Last updated: 2020-01-08 16:59
OECD: Lithuania had taken significant steps to strengthen its legislative framework to combat...

In December 2019, Lithuania presented its written follow-up report to the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions (Working Group), outlining the steps taken to implement the recommendations and follow-up issues identified during the Phase 2 evaluation in December 2017. In light of the information provided, the Working Group concludes that Lithuania has fully implemented 16 of the 27 recommendations, partially implemented 8 recommendations and not implemented 1 recommendation. 2 recommendations will be converted into follow-up issues that the Working Group will assess in future evaluations of Lithuania. During this follow-up report Lithuania was represented by delegation, composed of the representatives of the Ministry of Justice, General’s prosecutor office and Special Investigation Service (STT).

“The efforts, work and the legal framework created by our institutions are highly appreciated by OECD experts. However while we can see the progress in some areas since joining the OECD, in others no changes took place within two years. All national institutions need to listen to the remarks made by the experts and take all the necessary steps in order to adopt the OECD's best global practice and reduce the level of corruption, ” says Mr. Jovitas Raškevičius, First Deputy Director of the Special Investigation Service, representative of delegation.

Overall, Lithuania has shown considerable progress in addressing the Working Group’s concerns. In Lithuania’s Phase 2 report, the Working Group noted that Lithuania had taken significant steps to strengthen its legislative framework to combat foreign bribery. However, the Working Group found that further efforts were needed to ensure effective enforcement of anti-bribery laws with regard to corporate liability and imposing sanctions for foreign bribery, including confiscation.

STT has taken considerable steps to raise awareness of the foreign bribery offence across Lithuania, both in other government agencies and across the private sector. The awareness raising did not appear to encourage other Lithuanian government agencies (particularly those working with SOEs and SMEs) to conduct their own foreign bribery awareness raising activities.

The Working group welcomes an obligation for auditors to report suspicions of foreign bribery to the STT and receive regular training on the offence; and that procedure for selecting and appointing judges has been amended with a view to strengthening the independence of the Selection Commission and the role of the Judicial Council. Impressive efforts have been made to train judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officials on the foreign bribery offence, sanctions and corporate liability.

The Working group noted that Lithuania has not taken steps to facilitate direct access by procurement authorities to corruption convictions of natural and legal persons and ensure effective exclusion from future procurement in accordance with the provisions of the Law on Public Procurement.

Remaining follow-up items, as well as recommendations that are either partially or not implemented will be followed up by the Working Group in the Phase 3 evaluation of Lithuania, currently scheduled for October 2022.

More information regarding the Working group and Lithuania’s evaluation is available on the web site https://www.oecd.org/corruption/lithuania-oecd-anti-bribery-convention.htm