¥ full implementation of the Final Recommendations and Guidelines for Action made to the Bulgarian Government under the Octopus Project of the European Commission and the Council of Europe of September 24, 1998.
On a domestic level, it is necessary to undertake the following measures in line with the instruments endorsed by the Council of Europe:
¥ criminalizing bribery of foreign public officials;
¥ criminalizing the so-called Òtrade in influenceÓ;
¥ enhancing the administrative capacity of the specialized anti-corruption agencies;
¥ elaborating and implementing witness protection programs including ap- propriate financial and other provisions;
¥ creating a public register for annual property and income declarations by senior public officials;
¥ improving inter-institutional cooperation and statistics;
¥ developing educational programs aimed at fostering a culture of public ethics and rule of law.
The fight against corruption in international business is one of the principal goals of OECD. The organization has four main areas of activity Ñ fighting bribery in international business transactions, enhancing anti-corruption sys- tems within the frames of public administration, controlling externally fund- ed projects, and studying corruption in non-member states. The Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions was signed on 21 November, 1997 and Bulgaria is a party to this instrument.
The OECD member states are the source of approximately 70% of the goods and services in the world and about 70% of international exports, and generate about 90% of investments on a global scale. Cooperation within OECD in combating corruption in international business transactions, which also involves the participation of non-member states (Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Chile), is therefore of vital import to the successful coun- teraction of international corruption.
In the future, cooperation within OECD will seek to extend the scope of the fight against corruption by combating bribery of representatives of foreign political parties or candidates for office, as well as by examining the role of subsidiaries abroad and offshore centers.
It is indispensable for Bulgaria to become fully involved in the international cooperation in combating corruption under the auspices of OECD, which implies the following:
¥ full participation in the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions. Bulgaria has so far not been effectively involved in its activity even though this was the first OECD working body of which the country became a full member;
¥ active involvement in the monitoring mechanism of the implementation of the Convention and the Revised Recommendations of OECD, which in- cludes a system of self-evaluation measures based on questionnaires as well as a system of mutual evaluation of the working group member countries;
¥ fulfillment of the commitments undertaken with the signing and ratifica- tion of the Convention: changes in the Penal Code for the purpose of crim- inalizing bribery of foreign public officials according to the definitions of bribery and foreign public official set forth in the Convention; introducing provisions for non-criminal penalties for legal entities engaged in bribery of foreign officials; taking steps in connection with money laundering and ac- counting requirements;
¥ adherence to the Revised Recommendation of the Council of OECD of 23 May 1997 and the Recommendation of the Council of 11 April 1996;
¥ participation in future cooperation within the frames of the OECD Working Group on Combating International Corruption;
¥ appropriate support for the efforts of the OECD Public Management Committee Ñ PUMA in connection with the elaborated Ethics Checklist
and the related research currently in progress, as well as with its other activ- ities aimed at preventing and combating corruption.
F.2.3.2. Interaction with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund
Interaction with international financial institutions and, more specifically, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, should be aimed at implementing the common goals of curbing corrupt practices within the frames of Bulgarian reforms and privatization.
The systematic framework for addressing corruption as a development issue in the assistance provided by the World Bank was developed in the 1997 re- port ÒHelping Countries Combat Corruption: The Role of the World BankÓ.
The Bank will respond to requests for assistance in partnership with other in- ternational institutions and bilateral aid donors as appropriate. In other cas- es, the Bank may provide assistance in economic policy reform and institu- tional strengthening that, while aimed primarily at improving government performance, also helps reduce corruption.
Of particular interest with regard to governance is the document endorsed by the IMF Executive Board on 4 August, 1997, which contains the criteria for IMF involvement in this respect. The document expressly notes that the responsibility for governance lies with the national authorities and IMF in- volvement is warranted in instances when the capacity of the respective government to conduct a viable economic and financial policy is impaired by poor governance, with a resulting negative impact on macro-economic performance, for instance due to misuse of public funds, widespread bribery of tax and customs officers, etc.
More active cooperation would be particularly beneficial in the following spheres:
¥ with the IMF in the sphere of combating international money laundering.
In this area Bulgaria should seek technical assistance for the consistent ap- plication of licensing and financial-accounting requirements, as well as in the elaboration of banking and foreign exchange legislation and regulations;
¥ with the international financial institutions in general, insofar as they sup- port the efforts of the various countries to improve governance by enhanc- ing transparency and remodeling government practices in such areas as tax policy and administration, the financial system, public expenditure policy and management, etc.;
¥ drawing on the experience of international financial institutions in the sphere of fiscal corruption, remuneration of public sector employees and corruption, as well as with respect to the impact of corruption on growth, capital accumulation and the cost of governance;
¥ establishing partnering relations between Bulgarian non-governmental or- ganizations and international financial and trade organizations. Bulgarian NGOs should be more active in supporting the implementation of the anti-
corruption strategy of the international financial organizations, as well as the recommended measures for greater transparency and accountability.
F.2.3.3. Cooperation with the International Chamber of Commerce
The International Chamber of Commerce plays an important role in stimu- lating international economic relations and trade in particular. In 1996 it adopted a revised version of Rules of Conduct in the Fight against Extortion and Bribery in International Business Transactions. However, these rules are not mandatory and corporations are free to decide whether to endorse them.
It is important for Bulgaria to follow closely the developments concerning the application of these standards, all the more that a special committee has been set up on a permanent basis with the participation of business persons, legal experts, and academics, to continue efforts in this direction.
International non-governmental organizations, professional associations, not-for-profit organizations and other third-sector structures will be playing an increasingly important role in the fight against corruption. The key ob- jective at this stage is to identify potential partners and possibilities for co- operation, as well as the specific areas where it would be most viable.
Cooperation with non-governmental organizations falls within the principal goal of implementing anti-corruption activities and should take into account the potential, as well as the limitations, of these organizations deriving from their specific nature.
Cooperation should be established primarily with organizations likely to of- fer substantial support, including financial assistance, for the implementa- tion of the Action Plan, such as:
¥ The International Development Law Institute (IDLI), Rome
The International Development Law Institute is an international not-for- profit organization established by inter-governmental agreement of 13 countries, including Bulgaria. IDLI is a leading European organization in the sphere of legal development and has extensive experience in implementing legal training programs in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, as well as in developing countries.
Cooperation with IDLI proceeds in two main directions:
a) using the resources and experience of the Institute in implementing the public awareness campaign;