OECD Calls on Hungary to Combat Bribery: Jan. 2023

Hungary should urgently implement long-standing OECD Anti-Bribery Recommendations, enforce its foreign bribery laws and improve its engagement with the Working Group on Bribery

Hungary continues to fail to implement key aspects of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention and to enforce its foreign bribery laws. It must report to the Working Group on Bribery by June 2023 that it has made significant progress to address outstanding recommendations relating to its implementation and enforcement of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, or the Working Group will send a high-level mission to Budapest.

The proposed high-level mission results from Hungary’s failure to make tangible progress in addressing long-standing recommendations including several that date back to its Phase 3 evaluation (March 2012). These recommendations relate to Hungary’s lack of understanding of foreign bribery risk exposure, absence of strategy for proactively detecting and investigating foreign bribery cases, inadequate time to apply investigative measures to suspects in highly complex multijurisdictional cases and lack of legal clarity in relation to corporate responsibility for foreign bribery.

The Working Group also remains seriously concerned about Hungary’s low level of foreign bribery enforcement noting, that no significant case of foreign bribery has been detected or investigated since its Phase 3 report in March 2012.

The Working Group continues to monitor issues relating to the impact of legislative reforms on the ability of the media and NGOs to play an effective role in detecting allegations of foreign bribery and on judicial independence in the country. Hungary was invited to update the Working Group on these issues in December 2022 but opted not to do so. The Working Group is disappointed with Hungary’s overall lack of engagement in terms of reporting and urges it to demonstrate its commitment to the follow up process.

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