OECD report recommends further action but welcomes progress

Bulgaria should do more to prevent, report, detect and prosecute foreign bribery cases, according to a new report by the OECD Working Group on Bribery.

In the context of its regular cycle of reviews, the OECD Working Group on Bribery has just completed an evaluation of Bulgaria’s enforcement of the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials.

Other main recommendations of the report are that Bulgaria should:

• Raise awareness among private and public sectors of the offence and sanctions for bribing foreign public officials;

• Provide adequate training and resources to investigators, judges, and prosecutors in order to strengthen the investigation of complex financial cases;

• Substantially amend and enforce its law on liability of legal persons for foreign bribery;

• Streamline and amend its legal framework on confiscation;

• Implement its commitment to explicitly prohibit the tax deduction of bribes.

The Working Group also highlighted positive aspects of Bulgaria’s efforts to fight foreign bribery. Bulgaria has one conviction for foreign bribery and an investigation in a second case. It has made efforts to reform its judiciary, law enforcement system and many of its laws.

Wiretap evidence is now directly admissible at trial after a recent legislative amendment. A constitutional amendment took effect in 2007 and reduced judicial immunity.