Annapolis, MD (March 13, 2018) – TRACE International, the globally renowned anti-bribery standard-setting organization, today announced the findings of its 2017 Global Enforcement Report (GER), noting a reversion to the norm in U.S. enforcement actions concerning bribery of foreign officials following the previous year’s record-setting pace, while enforcement actions by non-U.S. agencies registered a slight increase. In the GER, an enforcement action includes resolutions of bribery allegations involving fines or penalties, a guilty plea, a sentencing or a settlement of charges.
In 2017, the U.S. undertook a total of 14 enforcement actions — almost half the number as in the year before, but roughly in line with the average over the past decade. Overall, from 1977–2017, the U.S. had carried out a total of 236 enforcement actions, constituting 67.6 percent of the 349 enforcement actions worldwide — a small but significant decrease from last year’s nearly 70 percent. This reflects the ongoing efforts throughout the world to confront the problem of foreign bribery, as seen in the 12 enforcement actions carried out by countries other than the U.S.
“The surge in settlements with U.S. agencies in 2016 may have been partly due to uncertainty about the future of DOJ and SEC enforcement priorities,” said TRACE President Alexandra Wrage. “Although that pace hasn’t been maintained, what we have seen is a return to pre-2016 levels. Anti-bribery enforcement continues apace in the U.S. even as it continues to receive greater attention across the globe. What we can’t measure, of course, is what is being added to the pipeline.”
About the GER
TRACE’s Global Enforcement Report (GER) provides graphic and textual analyses of all known investigations and enforcement actions involving transnational commercial bribery since the passage of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The GER derives its data primarily from the TRACE Compendium, TRACE’s database of transnational corruption cases. The analysis covers enforcement events for which information is publicly available, and does not address matters involving only domestic bribery.
The 2017 GER, TRACE’s eighth annual compilation, provides anti-bribery enforcement data from 2017 and summarizes 41 years of anti-bribery enforcement activity. It is available at http://traceinternational.org/ger.
TRACE is a globally recognized anti-bribery business organization and leading provider of cost-effective third-party risk management solutions.